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"Hey Buddy, Your Gills Are Showing!"

Nudibranches, also known as true Sea Slugs, are some of the most colorful creatures on earth. In the course of their evolution, these members of the mollusk family, lost their shell while developing alternative defense mechanisms. The name, Nudibranch, means “naked gills”. These gills (branches) can clearly be seen in each of the images above. The twin structures at the opposite end of these creatures are called Rhinophores and are used to sense chemicals in the water.

Click here to see more photos of Nudibranches

Nudibranchs are carnivorous, feeding on invertebrates like sea sponges, hydrozoids and sometimes other nudibranches. Some of them are even known to store toxins from their prey for future use. The bright colors of these creatures warn predators that they are poisonous. Nudibranchs are hermaphroditic and bear a set of reproductive organs for both sexes, though they cannot fertilize themselves.

Images above © Scubazoo / Science Source

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