sea swallow

holy cats, i came across these guys and had to share with you.

behold the glaucas atlanticus, commonly known as the blue dragon, sea swallow, or blue ocean slug.  these guys are tiiiiny: they usually max out at 3 cm (just over an inch, for you imperial types).  this mollusc is very rare, and it floats along the surface of the ocean, upside-down, with its stomach full of air which keeps it afloat.

these little guys eat portugese man-o-war (and other larger prey), even the stingers, which they then store in the tips of their fan-like appendages to use for their own defense.  it seems that this slug has the ability to select and store only the most venomous nematocysts to use in it own defense.  because it stores up venom, its stings are worse than the stings of its prey. how bad-ass is that?

 

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