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The colourful alien creatures living at the bottom of the sea. [Click images to read descriptions.]

They may look like creatures from another universe, but these multi-coloured sea slugs are in fact one of the marvels of our oceans.

Nudibranchs are soft-bodied marine molluscs that shed their shells after their larval stage, revealing their brightly-coloured exteriors.

These stunning images were captured by wildlife photographer Franco Banfi in some of Earth’s most exotic waters surrounding Indonesia, the Phillippines, Papua New Guinea, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.”

  • Nudibranchs are soft-bodied marine molluscs which shed their shells.
  • Name derives from Latin and Greek and means ‘naked gills’.
  • Scientists believe remarkable colouring is a form of self-defense.
  • Nudibranchs are hermaphrodites which means that they possess both male and female sex organs.
  • They can be found crawling over rocks, seaweeds, sponges, corals and many other substrates. 
  • Nudibranchs live on all levels of the ocean but their greatest size and variation comes in warm, shallow waters, so beach-walkers can often find nudibranchs in tidal pools at low tide.
  • Some species get their toxicity from the sponge they eat but others can produce it themselves.
  • The name ‘nudibranchs’ derives from Latin and Greek and means ‘naked gills’.
  • There are thought to be around 3,000 different species of nudibranchs in our oceans.
  • Another defense tactic is for nudibranchs to release acid from their skin.
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, #science #biology #nudibranch #sea slugs
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