Saltar al contenido

Snail without a shell


Ir a la versión en español



The nudibranch, or “sea slug,” could be described as a snail without a shell, which would leave this animal completely unprotected. However, to defend themselves, this ingenious creature has developed some very interesting methods.

Some sea slugs have spectacular colorations in the form of bands or spots that break their silhouette and confuse their appearance. Others combine colors that in the sea serve as warning signs of venom to predators, such as red and black or yellow, orange, and black. Other species have calcareous spicules on their skin, some have an unpleasant taste, and others secrete toxic substances to defend against an attack.

These mollusks have an extremely specialized carnivorous diet: they feed on sponges, cnidarians, and bryozoans. Some species have dorsal appendages in the form of sacs. In these receptacles, they accumulate the stinging cells from anemones and hydroids that served as their food, so that when a predator bites them, they release the appendages and the attacker learns a lesson.

“You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.”