Friday 11 March 2016

Crowned Nudibranch

Image: John Turnbull
Polycera capensis
Crowned in tentacles, that is.

Which is, of course, the best kind of crown.

Image: Richard Ling
Crowned Nudibranches are amazing sea slugs native to the coast of southern Africa. These days they're also found off parts of Australia. Presumably some eggs were attached to the underside of a boat and got taken over by accident. Something like that.

Or maybe the Australian government had some Crowned Nudibranches imported so as to increase their standing in the international tentacles-per-slug index. It helps with tourism, I'm sure.

Image: Peter Southwood
Crowned Nudibranches are only about 5 cm (2 in) long but they're extremely conspicuous. Which is why they're also known as Conspicuous Polyceras.

They have black rhinophores for sniffing out their favourite food, bryozoans of the genus Bugula, and black gills for absorbing their favourite chemical element, oxygen.

Image: John Turnbull
The rest of their body is almost entirely white except for black stripes and... well, that's where the fun starts!

There's a kind of yellow, tentacle tail. Their gills are adorned on either side by yellow tentacles that rise like obelisks, as if to grant life-giving oxygen a suitable welcome. And then, the crowning glory, half a dozen yellow tentacles that stretch out from their face like golden sun rays.

Image: Wilhelm
Which leaves only one question: should we paint the Statue of Liberty's spiky crown yellow or gold?

Maybe her gown should be white with black stripes, too.


TexWisGirl said...

very exotic!

Joseph JG said...

Yup! And with the careful application of just three colours!

elfinelvin said...

Just BEING a Nudibranch is pretty darn cool. Having a crown of tentacles that you can waggle at your subjects is way over the top! And, yes, the Statue of Liberty is long overdue for a make-over. Gold crown and zebra stripe gown would look great!

Joseph JG said...

Yup, the Statue of Liberty is insufficiently over the top!

Susan said...

Cthulhu is jealous.

Joseph JG said...

Yup. Poor guy isn't pretty enough for a crown like that