Wednesday 27 March 2013

Hairy Sea Hare

Image: DuPont, Anne
Bursatella leachii
Hares are usually hairy. But slugs?

The Hairy, Shaggy or Ragged Sea Hare is a unique Sea Hare that reaches more or less 10 cm (4 in) long and can be found in Indo-Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean waters.

Image: DuPont, Anne
Oh, and they're hairy! And shaggy. And ragged.

Image: mentalblock_DMD
Actually it isn't hair at all, it's all fleshy, sticky-out bits. Or branching papillae. Papillated Sea Hare!

It all provides great camouflage when they're among the kind of sea weed and algae they eat. Even out in the open they probably look like that thing when Bugs Bunny hides in a bush and walks around the place.

Image: [wj]
Hairy Sea Hares can't swim through the water like some others can. They have those wing-like parapodia on their sides, but they seem to be mostly fused together.

They have the rhinophores and oral tentacles for sniffing out their surroundings, they're just really difficult to discern from all the other bits and bobs sticking out all over the place.

They also have rows of blue spots along their body.

Image: wildsingapore
When disturbed, they'll fire off a load of ink to shoo you away.

Hairy Sea Hares in Love

When a mummy/daddy Hairy Sea Hare and a daddy/mummy Hairy Sea Hare love each other very much...

Image: mentalblock_DMD
Actually no...

Image: mentalblock_DMD
Hairy Sea Hares often get together in mountainous orgies of hairy, hermaphrodite love. The sheer quantity of love here is incredibly moving and brings a tear to the eye.

Image: mentalblock_DMD
Even if their egg ribbons look a lot like spaghetti. Which should be fine so long as the parents stay in the sea...

Image: wildsingapore
A Hairy Sea Hare out of water looks suspiciously akin to a meatball several months after its use-by date.


TexWisGirl said...

the pile 'o love made me laugh.

Joseph JG said...

It made me silently weep bitter-sweet tears!