Monday, April 26, 2010

10 UNBELIEVABLE SEA SLUGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW EXISTED

Sea slugs, more formally known as nudibranch, are some of the most beautiful and colourful creatures on earth. Here are only a few of the hundreds of species of nudibranch that adorn our oceans.

1. The Glaucus atlanticus



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The blue ocean slug (known by various names including blue lizard and blue dragon) is a specie of medium-sized (about five to eight centimeters in length) nudibranch. It has an awkward appearance and looks as if it could be a creature out of a sci-fi movie with its appendages, anatomical structure and flat blue and silver body. This nudibranch is pelagic, and is distributed throughout the world's oceans, in temperate and tropical waters. Regions include the east and south coast of South Africa, European waters and Mozambique.

This species floats upside down on the surface tension of the ocean.
The blue ocean slug can feed on a variety of larger predators, such as the Portugese Man-O-War, the Blue Sea Star and the By-The-Wind-Sailor, because of its immunity to their venom. When feeding upon these cnidarians it transfers its prey's stinging cells into its own cerata (or appendages) and then utilizes them for its own defence. It is also a hermaphrodite which means that it has both male and female reproductive organs. The cerata (tenticle-like appendages) are used in respiration, defense and digestion.

More photos of the blue ocean slug:


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2. The
Nembrotha kubaryana


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The Nembrotha kubaryana, also known as the variable neon slug, is a species of colorful sea slug that can reach a total length of more than 120 mm. It is a large dark-bodied nudibranch which have green stripes running down the length of the body or green raised spots. The foot and head are a vivid red-orange. Nembrotha kubaryana uses the toxins in its prey to defend itself against predators. It stores their victim's toxins in its tissues and then releases them in a slimy defensive mucus when alarmed (via).


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3. The Cyerce nigricans

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Also known as the Sacoglossan sea slug – it is one of the 'icon' species of the Great Barrier Reef – often being used in tourist posters and brochures. As with many brightly coloured sea slugs this species produces distasteful secretions that are easily cast through the cerata (appendages) when the animal is disturbed.


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4. The Chromodoris annae



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This colourful group of species is characterized by black longitudinal lines, bluish backgrounds and orange borders. They inhabit the waters of the tropical western Pacific.


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5. The Elysia crispata



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The lettuce sea slug or Elysia crispata is a herbivore (that feeds of algae) that reaches up to 5 cm in length. They are native across the Caribbean. The lettuce sea slug is not a true nudibranch, as it is often referred, but a ’sacoglossan sea slug’. Sacoglossans feed by sucking out the chlorophyll contents of algae, and then incorporate that chlorophyll into their own tissues. Thus the slugs themselves become 'solar powered' (via).

More photos of the lettuce sea slug:


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6. The Phyllidia ocellata


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Phyllidia ocellata is a species of sea slug that can measure up to 60 mm in length. This nudibranch has a yellow body with a dorsum covered in yellow or white tubercules. Its bright coloration is a perfect example of 'warning' coloration that advises wandering predators to stay away because they give off noxious chemicals if disturbed or eaten. They feed by secreting digestive enzymes into sponges afterwards they suck the partially digested tissue into their gut.


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7. The Hypselodoris apolegma


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This odd colored sea slug is found in the Western Pacific. They are a pinkinsh-purple color and they have a white border on their mantle. Their rhinophore clubs (appendages) are an orange-yellow color that is a startling juxtaposition with the rest of their bodies.


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8. The Chelidonura Varians


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The hammerhead nudibranch or Chelidonura Varians is also referred to as the ‘prince of darkness’ of the nudibranch world with its black colour and neon markings around its mantle.


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9. The Janolus barbarensis


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10. The Glossodoris atromarginata


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23 comments:

  1. Very interesting!

    Who knew that our oceans are adorned with such spectacular, yet unknown, beauties. It just goes to show that one can discover beauty in the most unlikely places, maybe that should have been your heading. Beauty is not only skin deep, its under the water deep! Will you be able to change it to that?

    Cheers!

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    1. Actually it is likely. Only ignorance in it's bliss cannot fathom truth in the world around us.

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  2. What gorgeous little aliens we have on our wonderful planet. Amazing!!! Greatly appreciate your sharing! =)

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  3. My kids found hundreds of the blue lizard slugs(Glaucus atlanticus)in the sand on Ft. Lauderdale beach in early May of this year. I've been going to the same beach for 25 years and never seen these creatures before so I'm glad to have some info to share now. Thank you for the photos and descriptions!

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  4. Did you save any of them? I want one as a pet!

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  5. i agree with jeff, i want several of these as pets!!!!

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  6. These are amazing, and I want one of the blue dragons! Mother Nature had a fun time with these critters, didn't she?

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  7. you can keep them as pets but im not sure where to get one

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  8. I'm going to gene splice all of them with a platypus, a great dane, a king cobra, a clydesdale hoprse, and sand fleas. Then turn them loose.

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    1. Add pandas too!

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    2. Not possible the genetic code is to driftnet it would reject and die asshole

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  9. Thanks for bringing these "otherworldly" looking creatures to light! Who knew? It makes me happy just to know they exist!

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  10. just let the slugs be...they belong in the oceans not a puny glass box...

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  11. I LOVE THIS BLOG!!! thank you for introducing me to the oolest animals in the world!

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  12. and they will NOT be a good pet... most nudibranchia / sacoglossa etc are extremely toxic and very very fragile and specific in what concerns to their food.
    You will not be able, most certainly, to provide them their food... so.. they will die very fast.

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  13. Beautiful. If some astronaut had discovered these on a far-off planet, the world would be ecstatic. But here we are, daily destroying the very world they survive in, oblivious to what we have...

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  14. lovely thing however they are hard to keep in reef tanks and they don't live long which is a shame. had blue velvet for a year.

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  15. Awesome. Love the colors! Haha.

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  16. What a coincidence we just got done studying these in my Marine Biology class I would love to have one they're so beautiful, and exotic looking creatures.

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  17. fabulous pictures thank's

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