copycat

Mimicry in the Underwater World

11 July 
20 September 2015
 
flinders gallery

An octopus that looks like a stingray? A crab that looks like a fish?

 

It is often said that mimicry is the ultimate form of flattery, but in the animal world it can mean survival.

 

Mimicry is when one species copies another model animal and uses a similarity in appearance, smell or behaviour as a disguise to gain some form of advantage. This can be for protection, usually to avoid being eaten by something else. It can also be used as a crafty way to snatch a feed. Mimicry is distinct from the more simple process of camouflage, where an animal copies some component of the habitat (e.g. substrate, plant, coral).

In the seas of the tropical Indo-Pacific there are spectacular examples of mimicry. This exhibition features some striking examples of mimics and their models, complete with their amazing stories, and is sure to provide a new perspective of the colour and life of the underwater world. 

 

 The images were by world renowned undersea photographer Roger Steene.