Friday 19 December 2014

Miamira alleni

Image: prilfish
Hey look! It's a... er...

It's a....


Image: prilfish
It's a sea slug! This bizarre nudibranch was discovered in the Philippines in 1993 and has since been found in a couple parts of Indonesia.

It looks utterly nuts! Or maybe broccoli. It appears to have big chunks of broccoli sticking out of every corner of its body.

And then there's that stalk of Brussels sprouts sticking out of its back. One specimen was measured at 10 cm (4 in) in length and had a tower of protuberances that was 6 cm (2 in) tall! Slugs aren't built for speed at the best of times but this one is so awkward it's a wonder she can keep upright.

Image: prilfish
It's a baffling thing to look at. You might even need to see it from several sides to work it all out.

And that seems to be the point. While there's very little known about Miamira alleni, its extraordinary appearance seems to serve as camouflage among certain soft corals in its habitat. It wouldn't be surprising if it fed on those self same corals, too.

There's no broccoli or Brussels sprouts in the sea.


Lear's Fool said...

Does it have a front?

Or does it get to choose?

Crunchy said...

Big chunks of old broccoli. Yeugh.

TexWisGirl said...

kinda funky. lionfish meets octopus meets reef?

Joseph JG said...

@Lear's Fool: It has a front. It even has rhinophores. It just doesn't want you to know that...

@Crunchy: The ONE thing that could make it worse!

@TexWisGirl: Ha! That's quite the mixture!

Porakiya said...

alleni?.....alien....aliens are among us!

Joseph JG said...

They left us a clue!