Nude lungs


The little fuzzy bits on top of the slug-like creature…

From December 2014 (wow, I’m that far behind on scuba photos)…

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Varicose wart slugs

Sea slugs are cool. They’re part of the larger classification that also includes all the various types of nudibranch. Sadly, however, in the Andamans, the more delicate, fast evolving and intricate nudibranchs have disappeared.

One likely cause, according to an ecologist I dived with: coral bleaching (at least partly induced by climate change which is at least partly induced by the massive human carbon footprint) which is destroying the reef habitat of the nudibranch.

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Nude lungs


A nudibranch in the bay at San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands.

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Awesome, tiny ocean creature

Tiny little buggers

Meet the nudibranch, about the size of the tip of my smallest finger. It’s an underwater sea creature whose exact scientific classification is still under some debate as new species are discovered regularly. Nudibranchs are known for their vibrant colors and are often referred to commonly though not quite accurately, as sea slugs.

The are shell-less and frequently tiny (though not all) and many of the common types breathe though unprotected “lungs,” hence the name: nudibranch means naked gills. They are typically carnivorous, eating sponges and other stationary creatures on the reef.

Most nudibranchs are also hermaphroditic, though they mate with others, with both parties producing egg strings.

The above nudibranch was shot off North Seymour. These are common throughout coastal Ecuador and particularly the Galapagos Islands.

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