I want to be a mimic octopus

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    One of difficult child's school assignments was an article on the mimic octopus. They blend in with their surroundings making them virtually invisible.

    :slap: I've been doing it all wrong! When difficult child starts, I try to make myself completely invisible. Really, all I have to do is go get me a few thousand chromophates (or something like that), attach them, and then I can blend in with the chair, for example.

    Now, I wonder where I can find those thingies.... I might have to wrestle an octopus....
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Invisible huh? I want to be a mimic octopus too!
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yeah, Heather, when you find the answer to this, would you pleeeeeaaassee let me know what it is??
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I remember at a field trip for Invertebrate Zoology, we caught a Little Dumpling Squid. A cute little crittur. We had him in a rectangular yellow plastic tub and he went completely yellow, it was hard to find him. So we got the little net (he was the size of a thumb) and lifted him out and put him into a red bucket (of course, the bucket and tub were full of seawater). He changed to red in about 20 seconds.

    Then we put him back into the tub. Yellow in 10 seconds. Then into the bucket. Yellow, red, yellow, red. He got quicker at each change until it was down to less than a second and without a stopwatch we couldn't measure the change.

    And the colour change was complete. The little thing would almost vanish. We hunted around for plastic with patterns on it to try, but then the professor made us put him back into his rock pool.

    The other thing we noticed with the colour changing, was the progression of patterns across the squid's body, you could almost see it thinking.

    So while an octopus is pretty cool at colour changing, squids and cuttlefish are generally even better.

    Mind you, you could go the other way and be a Blue-Ringed Octopus. They look harmless, they're small and insignificant - until you annoy them, when they get small bright blue rings showing up on their body as a warning that you're about to get lethally bitten; the venom paralyses your breathing muscles and you suffocate within 15 minutes.

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Yeah, but squids are uglier. :tongue:
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Not to another squid.

    It's all in the eye of the beholder... I'd love to be able to not only change colour to blend in, but to be able to rhythmically pulse in psychedelic patterns. The other amazing thing - they can do this on the side facing the squid they're communicating with, while from the other direction they are blended in so they can't be seen. And if the squid of their fancy changes sides - the patterns/colours can change sides just as fast.

    At least squid don't have that big bobbly proboscis thingie flopped over on top of their heads.

    Maybe cuttlefish then... they're more streamlined. But all of them are intelligent, they're the smartest of all the invertebrates. That's cool too.

  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Just think of all the chores a mom could get done with 8 arms.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Even better with a cuttlefish or squid - ten arms! Or to be more precise, eight arms plus two much longer tentacles with stickers on the ends for a longer reach to grab things.

  9. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I want that ability. Please share when you find it.

  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid that if I had eight or ten arms, I'd be expected to do eight or ten times the work. I'm really interested in the invisibility thing, though. I see all sorts of possibilities in that.