Nudibranchs: Beautiful but Dangerous Marine Creatures
Great article on Nudibranchs!
Our favorite excerpts:
“Among the fascinating creatures that live under the sea, nudibranchs are the most stunning of all of them due to their incredible colours, their beauty and their exotic forms… They are considered the most beautiful creatures of the sea and as they move very slowly, they are very popular among submarine photographers.”
“They are really ephemeral; normally the life span for a nudibranch is one year or less, though some more evolved species can live 3 years. They are benthonic species, living in nearly every marine bottom and can be found all over the world, from Antarctic to tropics.”
“Opisthobranchs are carnivorous feeding on sponges, cnidarians (anemones, soft corals, hydroids, etc.), tunicates, ascidia, bryozoans, and sometimes on algae and even on others nudibranchs. Each specie tends to be very selective feeders and may only eat one certain prey species. Thanks to their capacity to digest preys that often are toxic, as sponges or anemones, and even to be able to use these toxic metabolites for their own defence, nudibranchs have been able to feed on those dangerous preys avoiding competence of other predators that will dye due to preys' defence systems. But nudibranchs also have enemies, like spider crabs, some other kind of crabs and fishes. They also can suffer from parasitic copepods.