Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Rare neon Blue Dragon slug spotted in Australia

NOVEMBER 22, 2015

by Chuck Bednar

An unusual, neon-blue creature spotted earlier this month on a beach in Queensland, Australia might resemble a tiny Targaryen dragon, but in reality the bizarre lifeform is a type of sea slug commonly called the Blue Dragon.

Video footage captured by locals show the amazing striped creature wriggling around the waters of Queensland’s Broadbent beach, and according to Tech Times and Mental Floss, it is officially named the Glaucus atlanticus. These slugs float on their backs and move using the water’s surface tension, and are typically found in moderate to tropical bodies of water.

The slug feeds on venomous jellyfish, but instead of being harmed by its prey’s toxic sting cells (nematocysts), the Blue Dragon digests them and stores the venom on the outside of its body. It uses this as a defense mechanism against would-be predators or nosy humans, and as one would expect, experts recommend not touching the slug, no matter how incredible it may look.

In addition, G. atlanticus, which typically grows to between 3-4 centimeters (1.18-1.57 inches) in length, uses its strange stripes as camouflage to hide from potential threats from both above and below. As it floats along, its blue underside helps it blend in with the water’s surface, while its silver back creates the illusion of the shimmering surface of its oceanic home.

1 comment:

  1. There are indeed many interesting finds you can uncover here in Australia consisting of both flora and fauna which are well-preserved in the warm temperatures and cool waters combination. After a hard day’s work at the self storage, I like to walk around the beach in hopes of unearthing nature’s treasures.


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