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Macrotritopus defilippi (Atlantic Longarm Octopus) Vérany, 1851


Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
Gainesville, GA
Atlantic Octopus Mimics Flounders—A First
National Geographic By Rachel Kaufman 2010

This study marks the first case found in the Atlantic—and the fourth octopus species known to adopt a disguise. (Related: "Newfound Octopus Impersonates Fish, Snakes.")

Normally Atlantic longarm octopuses swim with their arms trailing behind their heads. But the newly released video shows the cephalopods folding their arms back into flounder shapes and undulating in a way that resembles flounder fins.

"It's a very athletic move," said study leader Roger Hanlon, of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

When stationary, the octopus seems content to just be itself. The animal only assumes flounder form when it's on the move, the scientists observed.

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