16 March 2022
What looks like a glowing pincushion (above) or piece of plastic in the tweet below is an animal called a nudibranch. It’s not pronounced the way it’s spelled. The “ch” is a “k.” This is a “NEW-dih-brank.”
An amazing nudibranch!
(Photo Erwin Poliakoff) pic.twitter.com/3tsAG5AmEX
— Weird Animals (@Weird_AnimaIs) March 13, 2022
Nudibranchs are sea slugs whose name means “naked gills” though some of them have no gills at all. From a video at DeepMarineScenes I learned that nudibranchs are …
- 3000+ species of sea slugs similar to snails but without any shells inside or out,
- Found from the poles to the tropics, most often in shallow tropical waters,
- Carnivores that eat sponges, corals, anemones, etc.
- Range in size from 1/4 inch to 1 foot long,
- Use smell and feel to get around. Their eyes sense only light and dark.
- Brightly colored from the toxic things they eat.
- Toxic themselves. Their color warns off predators.
- Their only real predators are other nudibranchs. Yow!
Here are a few more species.
Take a look at their lifestyle in a video from PBS.
For lots and lots of information about nudibranchs see this 5+ minute video from DeepMarineScenes: Facts: The Nudibranch.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)