Thu. Dec 13th, 2018

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

Ocean

Photo by Matt Hardy on Unsplash

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 (Physalia physalis)
By Image courtesy of Islands in the Sea 2002, NOAA/OER. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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.

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 dragon-glaucus atlanticus (8599051974)
By Sylke Rohrlach from Sydney (Blue dragon-glaucus atlanticus) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
Blue dragons aren’t seen very often, they’re fairly rare. And due to their size, they’re quite difficult to find.

I’m an aspiring writer from Santa Monica, CA who writes about a little bit of everything. I love paranormal stuff, working out, nature, wildlife, and general humor.