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Beautiful pictures of toxic sea slugs
May 18, 2008 10:06 PM   Subscribe

National Geographic has a really neat photo gallery of nudibranchs. These are very colorful, very cute sea slugs. Enjoy.
posted by phunniemee (43 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just saw these in my dead-tree copy of National Geographic. They're amazing!
posted by amyms at 10:09 PM on May 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like marine biology meets Chiat Day ad campaign!
posted by mrzarquon at 10:11 PM on May 18, 2008


With a name like "nudibranchs" I was hoping for a NSFW tag...

The pictures are great.
posted by JibberJabber at 10:15 PM on May 18, 2008


Those pictures are really cool, but I definitely wouldn't call them cute.
posted by overglow at 10:18 PM on May 18, 2008


Woah. These things are awesome. Great photos, too. I have some great ideas for how I could use them in a shoot, but I kind of suspect I can't go pick them up from my pet store.
posted by Stunt at 10:26 PM on May 18, 2008


Amazing. Thanks.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:30 PM on May 18, 2008


I can't stop looking at pimp slug (last page, first one). That would be the best little pet to have on a leash. Aww, cute toxic pimp slug.
posted by avocet at 10:31 PM on May 18, 2008


I think your list of tags aptly and oddly covers all my reactions.

Then I decided to look up slugs on Wikipedia:

The largest group of marine shell-less gastropods or sea slugs are the nudibranchs, but there are in addition many other groups of sea slug such as the heterobranch sea butterflies, sea angels, and sea hares, as well as the only very distantly related, pelagic, caenogastropod sea slugs, which are within the superfamily Carinarioidea.


More from the land slugs page:
Slugs are hermaphrodites, having both female and male reproductive organs. Once a slug has located a mate they encircle each other and sperm is exchanged through their protruding genitalia. A few days later around 30 eggs are laid into a hole in the ground or under the cover of objects such as fallen logs.

A commonly seen practice among many slugs is apophallation, when one or both of the slugs chews off the other's penis. The penis of these species is curled like a cork-screw and often becomes entangled in their mate's genitalia in the process of exchanging sperm. When all else fails, apophallation allows the slugs to separate themselves. Once its penis has been removed, a slug is still able to participate in mating subsequently, but only using the female parts of its reproductive system.


I'd like to think that these whimsically named nudibranchs behave somewhat differently from their less colorful land-dwelling relatives, but regardless, I'm a little bit (ok, a lot) horrified. They're also carnivores.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:33 PM on May 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Those look delicious.
posted by Poolio at 10:35 PM on May 18, 2008


Whoa. The last one's a dead ringer for my ex.

Thanks for the link.
posted by dobbs at 10:36 PM on May 18, 2008


There's also video.
posted by dobbs at 10:43 PM on May 18, 2008


Some other awesome nudibranchs.
posted by dersins at 11:21 PM on May 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice! The National Geographic is always worth a second look, so much thanks.

I wonder if I ran into any of these guys at the beach today?
posted by librarylis at 11:54 PM on May 18, 2008


Sea hares are the largest of the sea slugs. The Black California Sea Hare can weigh up to 35 pounds!

The Sea Slug Forum has lots of beautiful pictures of all kinds of sea slugs. They are my favorite marine animal.
posted by winna at 12:01 AM on May 19, 2008


beautiful, and new to me. thanks a lot.
posted by nicolin at 12:21 AM on May 19, 2008


Sea slugs from Japan.
posted by tellurian at 12:22 AM on May 19, 2008


What a pity they are photoshopped out of their natural environment.
posted by DreamerFi at 12:46 AM on May 19, 2008


My goodness these pictures are beautiful.
posted by Burns Ave. at 12:58 AM on May 19, 2008



Those pictures are really cool, but I definitely wouldn't call them cute.
posted by overglow


Well one of them is, at least. First slug on the last page. Such a cutie.
posted by vewystwange at 2:42 AM on May 19, 2008


This reminds me of recent attempts to buy running shoes.
posted by srboisvert at 4:16 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Viewing tip: There are multiple pages. To get to the next page you need to click on the >|.
posted by srboisvert at 4:20 AM on May 19, 2008


Is their natural defense that they look like a cross between sushi and gummi candy? Because I'd be dead inside of a week if I lived in the sea.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:45 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I just came from watching a neat video of a nudibranch called an "Orange Spanish Dancer" over on pharyngula.org. What timing.
posted by mystyk at 5:48 AM on May 19, 2008


Those pictures are really cool, but I definitely wouldn't call them cute.

I beg to differ.
posted by amro at 5:54 AM on May 19, 2008


That one looks like a pokemon.

I'm only a little ashamed to make that statement.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:56 AM on May 19, 2008


Looks like someone had chili for dinner. Watch out, fire in the hole!
posted by miss lynnster at 6:56 AM on May 19, 2008


I also find some pictures of nudibranchs very appealing.
posted by The Bellman at 7:09 AM on May 19, 2008


Absolutely awesome! Bornella anguilla (the sixth one on the first page) is the new love my life.

Sea hares are the largest of the sea slugs. The Black California Sea Hare can weigh up to 35 pounds!

I just googled for images of them and now I know why they are called sea hares. They kind of look like a bunny with two elephantine trunks and two tails...maybe? Really cute though!
posted by hecho de la basura at 7:24 AM on May 19, 2008


Wonderful first post, thanks phunniemee. I should pass the link on to the local cake shop. Some delicious kids' birthday cake inspiration there.
posted by peacay at 7:42 AM on May 19, 2008


Fantastic.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:46 AM on May 19, 2008


Go, Team Sea Slug!
posted by owtytrof at 9:01 AM on May 19, 2008


From the "Statements You Never Expected to Make" file:

My, what gorgeous slugs those are! Gracias.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:27 AM on May 19, 2008


Aww, they are cannibalistic too. Not that I can blame them. If my kin were that cute, I'd want to eat them as well.
posted by quin at 9:33 AM on May 19, 2008


I often forget that some of the coolest looking and most colorful creatures are actually real. Thanks for the post!
posted by Gular at 9:36 AM on May 19, 2008


Nature is so much more awesome than any of the crap we stupid humans create.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:41 AM on May 19, 2008


"a randy little fellow whose primitive brain scarcely strays from the subject of the you know what."
posted by stargell at 12:45 PM on May 19, 2008


See also the fantabulous Nudi of the Week site; it's been collecting great nudi shots for years.
posted by mediareport at 3:30 PM on May 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Those are just stunningly beautiful. I've been clearing my house of crap, but I'm going to buy my first print copy of National Geographic in years just because I need to see those in full, properly printed colour.
posted by maudlin at 5:02 PM on May 19, 2008


And according to the video dobbs linked to above, they are those combos of glorious colours because of the toxic stuff they eat (including each other). They say to the rest of the ocean, "If you eat me, you will die."

Ooh -- wallpaper!
posted by maudlin at 5:11 PM on May 19, 2008


Thanks for posting this. Made my morning.
posted by samthemander at 5:35 PM on May 19, 2008


They look like slippers. Fancier ones than mine, too.
posted by eponymouse at 5:06 AM on May 20, 2008


I just googled for "nudibranch slippers" eponymouse, no luck.... But how about some Pyjama Cardinalfish?!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 5:28 AM on May 20, 2008


Gorgeous!
posted by MChristian at 2:53 PM on May 20, 2008


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