Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Dazzling Sea Slugs, Dancing Fish & Psychopathic Shrimp | Sea Creatures | Love Nature

Dazzling Sea Slugs, Dancing Fish & Psychopathic Shrimp | Sea Creatures | Love Nature

Don’t let their style fool you. There’s a lot more to
these eye-popping animals than just good looks. Here are some Love Nature’s…
Best Dressed: Aquatics. These are nudibranchs, named
because of their exposed gills. These flashy little guys
evolved from sea snails. Over time, they ditched
their protective shell in favor of a more advanced
defense mechanism: toxicity. Some cultivate their own poison, while others dine on
toxic foods, like sponges. Whoo! If looks could kill! There are 3,000 species of nudibranchs, and each advertises
weaponry in their own way. Take this glowing purple specimen. Instead of gills, its back
is lines with tentacles. These golden tips are
probably filled with toxins. At least, that’s what it
would have you believe. Some nudibranchs simply mimic
the colors of poisonous slugs to keep predators at bay. Well played. Fascinating, isn’t it? How some of the world’s
most attractive creatures can also be nature’s most sinister. Harlequin shrimp, with their
magnificent looking shells easily draw your gaze. But that’s not all they capture. Their main source of food? Starfish! Starfish move around on
hundreds of tiny feet. To keep their meal from getting away, the shrimp paralyze the starfish, using their specialized
claws to slice the feet off. They then munch on one of its legs, working their way to the
juicy center of its body. Sounds grisly, but wait, it gets worse. Starfish legs can grow back. Knowing this, the harlequin
shrimp keep it prisoner as an unlimited source of food. But without nourishment, the starfish will wither
away and eventually die. To keep it alive, the harlequin
shrimp feed the starfish, effectively keeping their fridge stocked as long as they can. Yeah … dark! On a lighter note, check out
these stunning little wonders. Mandarinfish. These majestic reef
dwellers aim to partner up through an intricate courtship dance. But to win the female’s heart, these males are about to square off. Raising a dorsal fin plays
as a warning to rivals, while also acting as a
show for the females. An underwater tussle ignites. And unlike their color patterns,
this duel ain’t pretty. Their back and forth ends
with the dominant male pinning his nemesis. Defeated, the loser drops his dorsal fin and fades into the shadows. The battle won, the female
pairs with the victor, resting on his pectoral fin. Together at last, they ascend, slow dancing upwards, cheek to cheek. At the peak of their
rise, the pair releases a cloud of eggs and sperm in perfect sync, leaving the eggs to be
fertilized in the water column. How lovely. Life underwater has its own set of rules. Sure, these guys can dress to impress, but as you can see, there’s
more to them than meets the eye.

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