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Fw: Cool Slugs

I know these are SEA slugs, as opposed to LAND slugs?? but I thought the despised slug could use a little good PR.  (j/k).  Check out the pix.  Have you ever seen anything so......um, beautiful??
Cindy Johnson
White Bear Lake, MN
zone 4a
p.s.  Are sea slugs and hosta eating slugs even related??

----Original Message Follows----
From: eNature Wild Side <news@news.enature.com>
Subject: Explosive Skin
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 11:24:51 -0800

On the Wild Side: Explosive Skin

It's time sea slugs got their due. Not only are certain of these
creatures incredibly beautiful, a few also possess sophisticated
self-defense mechanisms that allow them to transfer the stingers from
sea anemones to their own backs.

Another name for a sea slug is nudibranch. Some 3,000 species of
these shell-less marine mollusks live in oceans around the world. The
members of one group have long fleshy projections decorating their
backs. Feeding on sea anemones and their kin, these nudibranchs nip
off the anemones' protective stinging cells, pass them through their
digestive tracts, and lodge them, undischarged, in the colorful
plumes on their backs. If a predator then bites one of these
nudibranchs, the stinging cells explode in the predator's mouth just
as if it had chomped upon an anemone.

The Pacific Elegant Nudibranch and Atlantic Red-gilled Nudibranch are
good examples of the look-but-don't-bite group of nudibranchs. Watch
for them in tide pools.

Click here for a picture of the Elegant Nudibranch:

Click here for a picture of the Red-gilled Nudibranch:


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