Saturday, 16 July 2011

The underwater world in Sardinia: nudibranches

Sardinian nudibranch
A nudibranch is a soft-bodied mollusk (= invertebrate animal) which leaves their shell after their larval stage. They are famous and loved for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. There are more than 3,000 described species of nudibranches. The word "nudibranch" comes from the Latin nudus, naked, and the Greek brankhia, gills.
Diving nudibranch
Nudibranch Sardinia
While in Sardinia we were told that nudibranches in the Mediterranean sea love cold water and when the summer start they are more rarely sighed, but we were still lucky enough to discover and see different ones:-) The biggest one is the so called in Italian "vaccheta di mare" (the white with the balk dots, literally the "sea cow"). It can reach up to 10 cm.
Diving Sardinia nudibranch
Sardinia diving
Most of the them are however really tiny, from 0,5 to 2-3cm. The bright and impressive colours are signal for predators that the soft body contains venom. This is also their only protection...
Mediterranean nudibranch diving

4 comments:

Filip Demuinck said...

Again nice underwater shots and I am the first one to comment this time. Enjoy the weekend.

Greetings,
Filip

Roj said...

the beauty of nature indeed... and those who have underwater cameras!!!! :=)

papillon said...

These little animals are so beautiful...C. also loves these little sea dwellers.
C+J

de bossies! said...

Hoi Jana
Wat een top foto's van de onderwater wereld weer. De naaktslak...Maar ook de foto's van het duiken..
Van mij mag je meer foto's plaatsen in één log.
Echt heel mooi
Groetjes Henk