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19 December 2013 12:36 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
Five federally funded optical and radio telescopes in the United States could be forced to shut down over the next 3...
A 2-year budget agreement pushes back the threat of sequestration but leaves scientists still wondering how much money...
After a decade away from physics, Robert Laughlin, a Nobel laureate at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California,...
Computer scientists and others have teamed up to persuade the 117 state parties to the Convention on Certain...
The swine flu pandemic of late 2009 had a peculiar aftereffect in parts of Europe: a spike in children being diagnosed...
After 20 years of trying, researchers have finally convicted massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia as the culprit in...
- 19 December 2013 12:36 pm , Vol. 342 , #6165
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Video: An Octopus Mimics a Flounder
5 March 2010 1:16 pm
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Credit: R. Hanlon
The peacock flounder (Bothus lunctus) isn't the prettiest fish around, but that hasn't stopped the Caribbean octopus (Macrotritopus defillipi) from trying to look like it. When stationary, the octopus's drab color keeps it well camouflaged against the sandy seabed. But when foraging for food, it exposes itself to predators. As this video footage shows, the creature has evolved an imaginative solution. As it swims, the octopus wraps its arms around its body and adopts a style of movement remarkably similar to the peacock flounder, swimmimg a fixed distance from the rippled contours of the seabed in short bursts interspersed with perfect stillness. How this deters predators is not clear, but researchers reporting in this month's issue of The Biological Bulletin suspect smaller predators that could easily take a bite out of the soft-bodied octopus might balk at the idea of biting into a bony flatfish.