Sea slug ‘blue dragon’ – the most beautiful killer in the ocean but extremely poisonous
On a beach vacation, venomous sea slugs are probably not on any vacationer’s must-see list. That’s exactly what Erick Yanta, a resident of San Antonio, Texas, encountered on a trip to Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi, Texas.
While walking along the beach, Yanta and his wife, Anna, spotted a small blue and white creature no more than 1 inch (2.54 cm) long clinging to a rock. He picked up the small creature for a closer look and filmed it before carefully placing it back into the water.
At the time, Yanta did not know that he and his wife had encountered the venomous Glaucus atlanticus, commonly known as the “blue dragon”. Yanta says: “We’ve seen many jellyfish-like species, but we’ve never seen this one.”
Immediately after recording the video, Yanta posted it on Reddit so users could help him identify the animal.
Adapted to avoid predators
Professor David Hicks, School Principal Science The “blue dragon” is a type of sea slug that normally lives on the ocean’s surface, said Earth, Environment and Maritime Affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas.
The “blue dragon” sea slug (also known as the dragon slug) has a brighter blue underside and a softer silver color on its back, says Professor Hicks. The blue underside of sea slugs helps them blend in, he explained, while the silvery gray blends in with the sea surface – an evolutionary trait that helps animals avoid predators.
Sea slugs can be found on most beaches in tropical and subtropical latitudes, but their small size means most beachgoers don’t see them, says Hicks.
Mr. Hicks said: “Sea slugs are also molluscs, so they often break apart when going through surf and drifting ashore.”
Despite their small size, “blue dragons” have the ability to attack quite strongly with their venom. The animal feeds on creatures such as venomous aquaria and stores the stinging cells of its prey, in pouches at the tips of its tentacles, says Professor Hicks. “Green Dragons” will use these cells to protect them from predators, and humans are sometimes accidentally bitten by them.
Professor Hicks said the pain felt from being stung by a ‘blue dragon’ is similar to that of a venomous hydra sting, which can be quite painful and, in rare cases, life-threatening. network. Symptoms after a sting can include nausea and vomiting, according to the American Oceans Foundation. If you are stung by a “blue dragon”, it is best to go to the hospital for treatment.
Yanta didn’t know that the “blue dragon” he found was venomous and then burst out laughing when he realized what he was holding in his hand.
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