According to science comic, xkcd, the answer is no:

Southeast Asian Sea Life ID Chart

Southeast Asian Sea Life ID Chart © xkcd

For the past 25 days, we have been showing off a different artist each day who is working at the intersection of science and art. We have included sculptors, medical illustrators, comics, painters, concept artists and more. Now, with the month coming to a close, it's time to show our own work. As you may know, the writers of this blog, Glendon Mellow, Katie McKissick, and I, are all science artists in our own right. In the remaining days of September, we'll each take a day to include our work in this year's SciArt Blitz. I'm up first.

Certainly the majority of my work is straightforward scientific illustration. But like most artists, I have my hands in many projects. Lately, I've been entertaining myself with octopuses, because let's be honest - is there anything you couldn't do with eight arms and the powers of near-instantaneous camouflage?!

There are many compelling stories I could tell about octopuses and their clever ways, but one of my favorites is the mimic octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus. The mimic octopus is striking on its own, being covered in beautiful zebra-like stripes, but it is its spectacular behavior that really sets it apart from the rest. You see, this species of octopus forages in the day in the shallow oceans around Indonesia and as such, has developed a clever way of fooling predators who might wander by: it mimics predators that would prey on whatever predator is threatening the octopus. Ed Yong puts it best when he says "In the natural world , mimicking a more dangerous creature is a common strategy for avoiding predators. But there is only one animal that can dynamically mimic many different creatures – the incredible mimic octopus."

I have grand plans to sculpt this octopus mimicking a sole, a lionfish, and a sea snake, all of which it imitates in the wild, but I started with this common stance I saw in which it seems more relaxed. I like the idea of the mimic being able to expand its territory into living rooms across the globe and imagine it might even be clever enough to figure out how to blend into fabrics and patterns to match our decor. So without further ado, I present my Mimic No. 1 for hanging on a wall:

Mimic Octopus wall sculpture

Mimic Octopus wall sculpture @ Kalliopi Monoyios

Mimic Octopus

Mimic Octopus © Kalliopi Monoyios

___________

For the third year running, we are turning September into a month-long celebration of science artists by delivering a new morsel of sciart to chew on each day. Totally yum? Check out what was previously featured on this day:

Anatomology2013: Wearable Science with jewelry by Anatomology

 

 

Gary Cass and Donna Franklin2012: Fermented Fashion with clothing by Gary Cass, Donna Franklin, and a common vinegar-producing bacteria