Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Mimic Octopus

Mimic Octopus
Originally uploaded by Daniel, Daniel Kwok.
Like everyone, I sometimes have days on which I do little but watch octopus videos:

This species, the Indonesian mimic octopus, was just discovered twelve years ago. It is fabulous.

It's known to mimic at least 13 different animals or corals, some of them deadly poisonous, though scientists admit they don't always know what they're seeing.

They're lost due to habitat degradation, fishing bycatch, recently even the pet industry.

It saddens and sometimes horrifies me that we can be doing such damage to species that weren't identified by scientists until our current crop of high school students was first learning to read.

I don't eat octopus, and I do what I can to help protect its habitat and the creatures in it. Biodiversity is essential, no species is completely expendable, but octopuses are just too damned cool to lose.

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