Impurest's Guide to Animals #32 - Sea Swallow

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ImpurestCheese

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

Wow, who knew 12 hour days in a 12 day week would be so hard. Well really I should because I’ve done them before so…anyway we have Issue 32 of Impurest’s Guide to Animals. Last week the Neon Cuckoo Bee showed nature’s malicious and underhanded side. Continuing the trend of beautiful with a side of sinister is the animal chosen by @knightsofdarkness2. Hope you enjoy.

_____________________________________________________________________

Issue #32 Sea Swallow

[1]
[1]

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Mollusca

Class – Gastropoda

[Clade*] – Neudibranchia

Family – Glaucidae

Genus – Glacus

Species – atlanticus

* At the moment the Class Gastropoda is going through a taxanomic shake-up with no easily defined Orders. As such the Sea Swallow could be in the following orders; Aeolidia, Cladobranchia, Dexiarchia, Euthyneura, Hetrobrancha, Neudibranchia or Neudipleura

Related Species - There is one other member of the genus Glacus, a dwarf Neudibranch known as Galcus marginatus (1)

Range - Sea Swallows are found throught the worlds Temperate and Tropical Oceans

The Wings that Sting

The Sea Swallow is a miniscule neudibranch, with an adult size of only 3cm when it’s ‘wings’ are fully outstretched. Unlike it’s (mostly) sea bed or benthic dwelling cousins the Sea Swallow is a free floating animal that uses a gas sac on it’s belly to keep it afloat on the surface of the ocean. Because of this arrangement the animal actually floats upside down. As such the counter shading on the Sea Swallow is reversed when compare to other marine animals, with the darker colours on the belly rather than the surface.

[2]
[2]

Unlike most terrestrial molluscs all nudibranch are carnivorous and the Sea Swallow is no exception to the rule. Its prey consist of other free floating animals such as the ‘By the Wind Sailor’ (Vellea vellea) and Violet Sea Snail (Janthina janthina), which is rips apart using its toothed radula (2). The Sea Swallow will even take on much larger prey such as the Portuguese Man of War (Physialla physilis)) thanks to it’s immunity to its preys venom. In fact after ripping off the Man O War’s tentacles, the Sea Swallow will store and then super concentrate, the venom in the wing like cereta that run down the flanks, using it as a defensive weapon.

[3]
[3]

Sea Swallows are hermaphrodites like other gastropods but are unable to self fertilize, thus requiring a partner to mate with. Both animals will lay strings of eggs in the carcass of their prey until they hatch. Larval Sea Swallows have tiny shells which they outgrow when their gas bladders finally develop (3).

Five Fun Sea Swallow Facts

Despite being labelled as ‘Sea Slugs’ the Nudibranchs are their own separate family, completely unrelated to Marine or Terrestrial Slugs

The name Nudibranch comes from the Latin words Nudus (Naked) and the Greek word Brankhia (Gill) referring to the groups exposed respiratory apparatus

The Sea Swallow’s penis is particularly strange as it features a hook on the end. This has probably evolved to bypass the venomous rows of cereta along its partner’s flanks

Misidentification has followed the Sea Swallow since its discovery. For a long time it was thought to be a marine insect and then the larval form of the Angel Shark (Squatina sp)

Despite being un-aggressive the number of stings from Sea Swallows is on the increase due to the popularity of ‘Bluebottle Fights’ in Australia, where the ‘combatants’ throw stranded Sea Swallows at each other, only to receive a painful (potentially life threatening sting) (4)

Bibliography

1 - www.arkive.org

2 - Thompson, T. E.; McFarlane, I. D. (2008). "Observations on a collection of Glaucus from the Gulf of Aden with a critical review of published records of Glaucidae (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia)". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London178 (2): 107–123

3 - http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/MarineInvertebrateZoology/Glaucusatlanticus.html

4 - http://www.seaslugforum.net/showall/glauatla

Picture References

1 - http://bogleech.com/nature/gastro-glaucus.jpg

2 - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5DcdeDlDTS0/TiQrzZ4x7qI/AAAAAAAAAdE/8Okr_g4bBl0/s1600/glaucus_eating_velella1.jpg

3 - http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5165/5345314049_bb030bd173.jpg

And that’s the Sinister Sea Swallow, not to mention its stinging wings of pain. Next week we get back to scheduled issues staring with something slippery down in the dark waters of Slovenia. Until then comment, critique and check out the Bestiary of Past Issues.

Many Thanks

Impurest Cheese

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Knightsofdarkness2

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Awesome! It seems like a very beautiful (but sinister) creature, it would be awesome if they had a Pokemon based on that animal.

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ImpurestCheese

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@knightsofdarkness2: Thanks, all the nudibranchs are beautiful but sinister to be honest. And yes there should be a Pokemon based on this. Tentacruel and Jellicent would be shaking in their boots. LOL

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Ostyo

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Just a fancy looking slug. Kill it like the others!

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BumpyBoo

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#5  Edited By BumpyBoo  Moderator

Wow, I can scarcely believe this is a real creature, it's gorgeous! ^_^

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ImpurestCheese

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#6  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@ostyo: Wow somebody hates gastropods. This one hasn't even invaded your garden and eaten your plants and you want to murder it.

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ImpurestCheese

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@bumpyboo: Thanks, the Sea Swallow (or whatever name you call it) has beauty down to a tee.

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deactived-1352151

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#8  Edited By deactived-1352151

Awesome! It seems like a very beautiful (but sinister) creature, it would be awesome if they had a Pokemon based on that animal.

it is.. i searched slug Pokemon, and it brung up these two..

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ImpurestCheese

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@epictayman: Are those real Pokemon or Fakemon though? Only Slug Pokemon I know are the Slugma, Gastrodon and Goodra lines

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deactived-1352151

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@impurestcheese: The Black and Blue (Fake-Mon), White and Blue (Found it on Tumblr)

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ImpurestCheese

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@epictayman: Checked the link. It was a discussion on what Goodra might look like. As such it's cool but speculation

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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The words of Muhammad Ali come to mind: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee".

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Knightsofdarkness2

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@epictayman said:

@knightsofdarkness2 said:

Awesome! It seems like a very beautiful (but sinister) creature, it would be awesome if they had a Pokemon based on that animal.

it is.. i searched slug Pokemon, and it brung up these two..

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Those are fake though.

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ImpurestCheese

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@xwraith: No Animal embodies that more than the Sea Swallow apart from the great man himself of course

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deactived-1352151

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Ostyo

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@impurestcheese: I do. They're gross, slimy, and in the words of Robert Muldoon...Should all be destroyed.

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deactived-1352151

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@ostyo: That's Cruel why would you want to kill such a majestic creature?

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Ostyo

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@epictayman: Tay, I'll destroy you too if you try to protect that spawn of Satan. :P

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Knightsofdarkness2

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@knightsofdarkness2: I believe we discussed these being fake like 20 minutes ago.

You discussed it with someone else though, therefor making your comment grammatically incorrect. :P

I kid, I kid, just joking with ya. Just wanted to be that "grammar nazi guy". :P

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deactived-1352151

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Ostyo

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Knightsofdarkness2

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@ostyo said:

@impurestcheese: I do. They're gross, slimy, and in the words of Robert Muldoon...Should all be destroyed.

Never! This animal is freaking awesome.

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Ostyo

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@knightsofdarkness2: Ah, another slug lover eh? I'll obliterate you with it! *Pulls out absurdly big cannons*

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laflux

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Very pretty animal.

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scattered316

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This slug is the physical embodiment of how diverse creatures can be in shape and size.

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DarthAznable

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Lol people Aussies throw them at each other? As funny as it would be to watch...still stupid. Great post as always!

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wildvine

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I've made this joke before, but these really do look like Pokemon. I thought the card pic was a painting at first.

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JoshuaDBr

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#28  Edited By JoshuaDBr

@bumpyboo: Exactly what I was thinking. It seems like some fantasy animal! It's also ne of the most beautiful creatures Since I started reading these.

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Straight-Fire

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Ah. Nice! :3c

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deactivated-5ee15da0e0aad

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It looks so weird O_o

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cattlebattle

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12 hour days?? Do you live on another planet with shorter days??

Wings and a hook on its penis....this animal wins...everything.

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Knightsofdarkness2

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@ostyo said:

@knightsofdarkness2: Ah, another slug lover eh? I'll obliterate you with it! *Pulls out absurdly big cannons*

*Uses Green Lantern ring to summon a huge hammer and destroys the canon and shoots ostyo with an elemental blaster*

You will never destroy me and the slugs! Evil Ostyo! Never!

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Cream_God

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Does it need a water stone to evolve?

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ImpurestCheese

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@darthaznable: Yeah it started with throwing Portuguese Man o Wars at each other, but well there were fatalities (worthy of the Darwin Award)

@scattered316: Yep, evolution can pretty much come up with anything if given enough time

@wildvine: Yep Pokemon could be real...

@joshuadbr: I agree/ It does look like it sailed out of a fantasy film or something

@dboyrules2011@laflux: Thanks, Nudibranchs are beautiful and weird looking. I could do a months worth of them and people wouldn't get bored

@scorpion2501: Yep it sure does

@cattlebattle: 12 Hour Working Days, Sorry my bad. And yes it definitely wins a lot of things

@cgoodness: Nope Trade holding the Ocean Fan item. LOL

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cattlebattle

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@impurestcheese: Wowz. What do you do for work? if you don't mid me asking. I assume it has something to do with animals. If it doesn't, then you should definitely do something involving animals

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ImpurestCheese

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@cattlebattle: I work as an ecologist for a consultancy. Basically I go to future construction sites and survey for and then relocate protected animals to a new home. In addition when construction begins I make sure nothing gets crushed or killed. At the moment days are a typical and extra long due to the length of the haul road I'm building

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deactivated-5a162dd41dd64

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Sooo pretty!

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deactived-1352151

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ImpurestCheese

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cattlebattle

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@cattlebattle: I work as an ecologist for a consultancy. Basically I go to future construction sites and survey for and then relocate protected animals to a new home. In addition when construction begins I make sure nothing gets crushed or killed. At the moment days are a typical and extra long due to the length of the haul road I'm building

Ah. I actually think I have asked you before...because that sounds very familiar, lol. As long as you enjoy your work. A long while ago I worked at a warehouse and would have to put in like 10 hours a day. It was terrible, I wanted to kill myself. Nobody should ever have to work that long in a day, unless of course you are handsomely compensated or enjoy what you do, then its all good.

Its good that you protect animals and their homes as well. I have been to some animal rights rallies that have gotten kind of ugly, peoples indiscretion when it comes to animals and just nature in general can sometimes be horrific.

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ImpurestCheese

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@cattlebattle: Yep I get a fair amount of pay so that's never really a problem. As for the animal rights people...well recently I've had literal shots fired at me by them. Very few of them actually think about the consequences of there actions and the effect it has on the local ecology

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cattlebattle

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@cattlebattle: Yep I get a fair amount of pay so that's never really a problem. As for the animal rights people...well recently I've had literal shots fired at me by them. Very few of them actually think about the consequences of there actions and the effect it has on the local ecology

Wait...Animal Rights activists shot at you?? Aren't you more or less a proponent for their cause??

Did you have to study ecology at University for your work??

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Ostyo

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@impurestcheese: So Professor Red, you got a favorite out of all the animals you reviewed so far?

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ImpurestCheese

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@ostyo: Next weeks because I've already written it and because I had an amazing experience with this creature

@cattlebattle: You would think so but no. The hard core activists see consultant ecologists as mercenaries and traitors. Ironically the worst part of my job (Mink termination surveys) is caused by animal rights activists. And yes I did study ecology at university

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StarWatcher

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Welp, looks like we found what colgate toothpaste is made of.

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Ostyo

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@impurestcheese: Oh man, talk about teasing. Now I'm pumped for this next animal!

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ImpurestCheese

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#48  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@starwatcher: Ssh it's a secret. Thanks for the comment though. Do you want to be included in further call outs BTW?

@ostyo: Here's a teaser. See if you can guess it. he he he

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Ostyo

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#50  Edited By StarWatcher

@impurestcheese: Call outs for your animal guide threads? I'd love to, thank you.
Good stuff those threads.