WhyReef - Fun Facts
What the reef octopus can do is incredible! Like a magician, it can change its appearance instantly to look like almost any object on the reef, whether it alters its skin texture to look like a hairy fish, or its color to blend into the coral. Because it doesn’t have any bones, it can bend itself into almost any shape and make itself look much larger than it really is. In fact, one scientist saw it changing patterns 1,000 times over a 7 hour period! Needless to say, the reef octopus’ mastery of disguise protects it from most predators and helps it sneak up on its prey.
As if all that talent weren’t enough, it has yet another way of protecting itself: squirting a cloud of ink at its predator. While the predator struggles to see again, the octopus swims away unharmed.
- Shedd Aquarium. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.sheddaquarium.org, version (08/2009). http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/fact_sheets.cfm?id=69
- Marine Bio. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://marinebio.org, version (08/2009). http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=29
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