6 Animals That Evolved to Be Better Actors Than You

  • December 19, 2010
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The Opossum


You have probably heard of “playing possum.” Well, it’s this guy who coined the phrase (not literally, of course).

Playing possum essentially is playing dead in order to avoid getting hurt in any way possible. You have probably done it before when confronted by a bully or another type of large, prepubescent, yet hairy, school-age child.

But the Virginia opossum (the true name of the “possum”) is more skilled at playing possum than any schoolyard geek. Whereas your normal geek will just close his eyes and fall to the ground, an opossum’s dedication to the task is incredible. Wikipedia says, “When playing possum, the lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands.” These are all involuntary actions, though, meaning that this animal is born with this incredible acting ability. It truly is genius.


The Atlantic Longarm Octopus


This tentacled horror has probably played a couple of major roles in Japanese tentacle porn. But, everyone knows that porn acting isn’t real acting. Nonetheless, this tiny Cthulu is a fantastic actor.

Whereas most of the animals on this list act the way they do or have the features they do because of evolutionarily involuntary features, octopi are known for being some of the most intelligent creatures under the sea.


Please do not break into song.

This octopus is known for acting like other undersea creatures, and it does it well. It doesn’t just change colors to be the same color as one, it changes the shape of its body to look exactly like one. Here is a video of the Atlantic Longarm Octopus acting almost flawlessly like a flounder.


If that doesn’t convince you, you are probably the kind of person who thinks that it is perfectly natural for animals to wear people clothes.

Speaking of which….


The Dresser Crab


This special guy is the greatest of all the animal actors, up there with Air Bud and Danny DeVito. He is such a skilled actor, in fact, that it is nearly impossible to find a picture of the Dresser Crab while it is not wearing a disguise.

This crab will don a sponge the moment it grows a shell and wears it as a hat its entire life, using it as both camouflage and a fashion statement.

But, the sponge it wears is not a kitchen sponge. It is a living, breathing (what is a sponge, anyway?) animal that lives on its head. And when the sponge is too small for the growing crab? It finds another one, trims it down to size, and puts it on instead.

However, a sponge is not always available. That’s where this crab’s ingenuity comes in: it will use any material it can as a stylish hat, including but not limited to slippers, wood, rope, and metal.


And apparently a pancake as well.

Yes: this crab is probably the only tailor in the animal kingdom. Written by Sam Blitz – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources
Image sources:

  • - The Spicebush Swallowtail: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/06/01/article-1282890-09D495A6000005DC-862_634x303.jpg http://www.bannedinhollywood.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/bird-poop-art-car3.jpg
  • - The Cookiecutter Shark: http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2009/03/18/1237419673-cookie_cutters.gif http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b194/Wolfman29/smallfry.jpg
  • - The Plover: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44064000/jpg/_44064395_plover_rspb300300.jpg http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/24/24F06225-2126-447E-A570-C0C467F6C2E8/Presentation.Medium/Common-ringed-plover-feigning-injury-to-attract-predators-away-from-nest.jpg
  • - The Opossum: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/99/299707769_c03e491c3e.jpg
  • - The Atlantic Longarm Octopus: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/134/cache/octopus-mimics-flounder_13456_200x150.jpg http://top-10-list.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/The-Little-Mermaid.jpg
  • - The Dresser Crab: http://www.underwaterworld.uk.com/albums/userpics/10001/normal_dresser%20crab.jpg http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:YIeLVSv_kNtR9M:http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/8286/crabev5.jpg&t=1