Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Why Blue Dragon Glaucus atlanticus Poisonous?

Blue Dragon Glaucus atlanticus

Glaucus atlanticus

The blue dragon, Glaucus atlanticus, also known as a blue angel or sea swallows, is one of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean and also one of the deadliest. This bizarre creature can be found throughout the oceans around the world, from temperate to tropical waters but it prefers the warmer waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. 

When fully extended, it looks like an alien dragon flying through the water on its colourful tendrils, known as cerata. It is simply a sea slug that is merely around an inch long. But what it sizes in lack, it makes up for in ferocity and beauty. The sea slug uses the colouration to its advantage as it floats on the ocean’s surface. 

The blue side of its body faces upward to camouflage it against the blue colour of the water, while the silver side faces downward to camouflage it against the bright surface of the water. It isn’t a bottom-feeding sea slug-like the regular ones. It uses a gas sac in its stomach to float upside-down in warm ocean currents, snagging other small pelagic creatures as well as some large ones like Portuguese man O’ war with its tiny blue feet. 

When the slug comes across its prey, it snatches it by its body and pulls chunks of its gelatinous mass with strong jaws and rows of needle-like sharp teeth. After feeding on its prey, it is able to process its nematocysts and store them in its own extremities. These venomous cells can be used by this blue dragon later on and in a higher concentration making its sting even more deadly. sometimes Unsuspecting beachgoers can find themselves on the painful end of that sting.

Classification of  Blue Dragon Glaucus atlanticus


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Superfamily: Aeolidioidea
Family: Glaucidae
Genus: Glaucus
Species: atlanticus

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