Have you ever seen a Nudibranch when you went diving? Over 3.000 different species of nudibranch exist in the ocean. They don’t prefer a specific domicile, they live in all oceans, no matter if it is shallow or deep water.
The name nudibranch comes from the Latin word ‘nudus’ which means ‘naked’ and the Greek word ‘brankhia’ which means ‘gills’. Nudibranchs are sea slugs but watch out – not all sea slugs are nudibranchs! You may think they are just some little creatures in the ocean. Let us show you 5 interesting facts about these colorful creatures:
- Nudibranchs are not good swimmers but some species actually have a “foot” which they can use for swimming. This broad muscle leaves a slime track. Nudibranchs also have eyes but they just can distinguish between black and light.
- Nudibranchs have beautiful colours. The reason therefore is that nudibranchs eat colorful food like corals, sponges, anemones and even other nudibranchs. They are also very choosy regarding their food, some species just eat one kind of food. Due to their colourful appearance they can hide from predators in their corals. Nevertheless Nudibranchs have a life span of a few weeks or months.
- Some species of Nudibranchs produce solar power by eating corals which are rich with algae. Nudibranchs absorb the chloroplast of the algae and engage in photosynthesis. The created nutrients help Nudibranchs to survive and obtain the established energy for several months.
- Nudibranchs are hermaphrodites. For the reason that they move very slowly they need to be ready for reproduction whenever they meet another nudibranch – no matter if it is female or male. As you see, Nudibranchs use a very convenient way for their reproduction.
- Nudibranchs are also important for science. On the one hand scientists try to find out more about “learning processes” and therefore research the relatively simple nervous system of Nudibranchs. On the other hand scientists try to explore more helpful medicine for humans with the help of Nudibranchs.
After reading these facts, are you convinced that Nudibranchs are a unique kind of sea animal? Have you ever seen a Nudibranch underwater? We would love to hear your personal experiences with Nudibranchs!