Nudibranchia of the world

Depicted: Okenia elegans, Hermaea bifida, Doto coronata, Facelina auriculata, Ancula gibbosa, Dendronotus frondosus, Tritonia hombergii.

Nudibranch" literally means "naked-gill”, and among all the colorful and ornate sea slugs out there (the vast majority of which are not nudibranchs), there are very few non-nudibranchia that have these highly-exposed respiratory structures. The rosettes and side-plumes of these naked gills are present in all true nudibranchs, and are soft to the touch.

Many other sea slugs have “exposed” gills outside their body, but they are almost always keratinized into structures called cerata. When you encounter cerata in nudibranchs, however, they are not respiratory organs. They are envenomation structures, which store the nematocysts from food that the nuddies have consumed. When disturbed, they can release these second-hand stingers and inject the same venom found in their prey - which, by the way, often includes highly venomous and paralytic jellyfish and jellyfish relatives.

All images extracted from plate 43 of Kunstformen der Natur. Ernst Haeckel, 1904.

157 notes

Show

  1. psych-and-delic reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  2. hella-hello reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  3. petrovyelyenaandme reblogged this from joga-luce
  4. deathlyglitter reblogged this from joga-luce
  5. joga-luce reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  6. real-taco reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  7. lady-ink-slinger reblogged this from rattieprincess
  8. rattieprincess reblogged this from floralfilth
  9. cyber-rad-69 reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  10. chelcicruel reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  11. nadiathanyou reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  12. butwewereokay reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  13. prestidigital reblogged this from kelpiescout
  14. kelpiescout reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  15. nikaboink reblogged this from biomedicalephemera and added:
    Cool science is cool
  16. squee-squee reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  17. shiisa reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  18. tamsinrobyn reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  19. chi-mer-i-cal reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  20. scarlet-begonian reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  21. adayaquote reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  22. yoboobooface reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  23. blackpooled reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  24. jeanmarcosrdg reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  25. crocodillium reblogged this from biomedicalephemera
  26. nymosy reblogged this from biomedicalephemera