Dear Wikiwatchers,

Have you ever heard of nudibranchs?

Nudibranchs are sea snails with no shells. They are found in every ocean in the world.

They have fascinating shapes and extraordinary patterns and colours....

If you can imagine it, there's probably a Nudibranch to fit the bill!

The word "nudibranch" means "naked gills" because their gills wave around, bare, on the outside

of the nudibranch, not tucked away inside like the gills on a fish.

You can see the gills on the flat DORID nudibranchs in the photos.

The spiky ones are called AEOLIDS - they breathe through their soft spiky cerata.

They are called the butterflies of the sea because of their amazing colours....

They have a real WOW factor!

- Mrs S

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Nudi Bodies....

Make a clay nudibranch

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Sound like a Nudi-Scientist - learn a few Nudi words.

A nudibranch moves on its foot.

It smells with its rhinophores.

It tastes with its oral tentacles.

It breathes through its gills.

It digests in its mantle.

The tricky Aeolids...

The cerata are the mantle and gills in disguise.

So the Aeolid digests and breathes with its cerata.

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The spiky Aeolid nudibranch

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The Dorid nudibranch

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A Nudi Dinner: Weapons in Disguise....

Nudis don't get stung or poisoned by what they eat. They can store the stings from anemones and

the glass from sponges (remember Evie's sponge?) They recycle them to defend themselves!

After all, who wants to eat a stinging, poisonous nudibranch full of splinters of glass?

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Anemones
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Hydroids
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Soft Coral
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Sea sponges
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Algae
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Barnacles

Nudibranchs are carnivores (meat-eaters) and get their colours from what they eat.

The colours help camouflage the nudibranch or warn predators that a nudibranch tastes disgusting!

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Nudi Links:

Nudibranchs for Juniors here

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Nudibranch Photo Gallery here.......................NZ Nudibranchs here