Blue Dragon Sea Slug: One of Nature’s Rare Wonders

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Arguably one of the most beautiful animals on the planet, glaucus atlanticus (AKA: blue dragon) is a rare sight even for the most frequent of ocean goers. A bit smaller than dragons of legend, these animals are just over an inch long when fully grown. The tiny guys have a sting so strong that they can take down larger marine animals like the Portuguese man-o-war.

portuguese man-o-war
Portuguese man-o-war | Image Credit: Danielle Sheridan – The Times Wildlife

The blue dragon is able to feed on other stinging marine creatures because it’s immune to their venom. When the slug consumes its prey, it’s actually able to store the most venomous nematocysts to use for its own hunting. As a result, it can concentrate and create a more toxic venom than those which it preys upon.

Blue Dragon Sea Slug
The blue sea slug out of water | Image Credit: Wikipedia




The blue dragon floats at the surface of the water with the aid of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. They float upside-down. The upper surface seen at the top of the water is actually the colorful underside of the slug.

Blue dragons aren’t seen very often, but this little marvel was caught on camera on a beach in Queensland, Australia a couple of years ago. Check out the video below – it’s pretty awesome:

Came across this odd critter at Broadbeach today. It’s a Glaucus Atlanticus.

Posted by Lucinda Fry on Thursday, November 12, 2015

 

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