Sea Slugs, (the common name for nudibranch) are flashy, flamboyant sort of marine mollusks {mollusks are a large phylum of invertebrates that make up about 23% of all marine organisms) that look and act not very much like land slugs. They are quite beautiful and useful in ways too numerous to count, and are some of the most diverse sorts of mollusks ever recorded!

The largely overlooked sea slugs can be described as “Blobs of rainbow” and are generally highly colorful, with vivid hues and distracting patterns. The classic sea slug shape is elegantly elongated and slender, but plenty of them are shaped like oblong pancake shapes, lumpy enchilada shapes, and oddly raspberry-esque shapes, with distractingly colorful tentacles. Most of the slightly dull-colored ones utilize their patterns for camouflage.

Sea slugs are currently not endangered, but might be eventually due to excessive overpollution. They also mostly eat coral, sponges, algae, and small jellyfish, and will be severely jeopardized if those die out. They have very few natural (or yet unnatural) enemies. Their survival methods are attributed to their poisonousness and stinging resulting from eating jellyfish, fire coral, and certain sponges. Their bright coloration also is a warning, and they also use previously mentioned camouflage. Don’t think that it ruins the coral reefs by eating coral and sponges; it disposes of the unnecessary bits, creating little spaces and gaps that small fish and crabs like to live in.

One of their many benefits include eating stuff that, if left uneaten, could seriously damage the coral reefs. Some nudibranches contain highly potent venom that can be addled with to be highly beneficial in eradicating pains! They also seem very promising in future biological research.

All in all, sea slugs are very, very important for the ecosystem, and deserve nearly as much attention as the other, more threatened animals, but not quite as much ‘till it’s endangered. You should definitely pay attention to them!


About mc5ugg

Questionable marine botanist, who enjoys food that his mom cooks for him

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