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117 Nudibranchs & Sea Slugs from Lembeh, Indonesia

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In the vast expanse of the ocean, few creatures command attention like the nudibranch. These marine Gastropod molluscs are renowned for their striking beauty, with brightly colored bodies interrupting the ocean blue like fireworks.

But their allure goes beyond just appearancesβ€”some of these sea slugs can incorporate nematocysts, toxin-producing cells, from their prey into their own bodies, creating a formidable defense against predators. This unique capability is another attribute that sets them apart from their terrestrial cousins.

Goniobranchus preciosus
With horn-like tentacles and feathery gills, nudibranchs come in a dazzling array of shapes and sizes, each more mesmerizing than the last. Some use camouflage to blend seamlessly into their colorful surroundingsβ€”anemones, corals, seagrass, etcβ€”while others use bold and contrasting hues to warn predators to beware.

Phyllidia haegeli
This incredible 12-minute compilation video from dive enthusiast Bart Evans reveals 117 Nudibranchs & Sea Slugs in the waters of Lembeh, Indonesia. Just when you think you’ve seen enough of these soft-bodied creatures, their patterns and colors surprise once again. More from National Geographic Kids:

“Over 3,000 species of nudibranchs exist, and most live in shallow, tropical waters. They can be anywhere from a quarter of an inch to 12 inches long and can weigh up to 3.3 pounds.”

Nembrotha kubaryana

“These sea slugs spend their time sliding on their bellies around their habitat in search of snacks. The animals have a set of curved teeth, which they use to eat coral, sponges, and fish eggs off the ocean floor. Nudibranchs use tentacles on their heads to poke around for grub.”

‘Nudibranch’ means ‘naked gill’ in Latin, NHM London notes, “referring to the breathing apparatus on the outside of their soft bodies.”

Janolus tricellariodes
Watch these related videos next on TKSST:
β€’Β These stunning sea slugs steal β€˜weapons’ from their ingested hydroid prey
β€’Β Glaucilla marginata: Beautiful blue sea slugs or nudibranches
β€’Β This Jorunna sea slug looks like a tiny, fluffy β€œsea bunny”

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