Ma­rine de­fend­ers

It’s not only limpets that have an un­usual de­fence. Other crea­tures have strange meth­ods of get­ting out of a fix.

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Limpets -


A sea slug steals the de­fences of the crea­tures it feeds on, such as anemones, jel­ly­fish and corals. It is pro­tected from the sting­ing cells by chem­i­cals in its mu­cus and is able to shoot them at an at­tacker.


The sea cu­cum­ber cre­ates a pro­tec­tive shield when it feels threat­ened, by in­vert­ing its own guts as sticky fil­a­ments that will re­pel its ag­gres­sor. Fish will go af­ter the guts and leave the cu­cum­ber un­harmed.


Slow-mov­ing sea hares de­fend them­selves by se­cret­ing a mix­ture of pur­ple ink and white opa­line. Opa­line coats the an­ten­nae of preda­tors, de­ac­ti­vat­ing their chem­i­cal senses and caus­ing a loss of ap­petite.


When a preda­tor ap­proaches, scal­lops move off the seabed and ‘swim’ to safety. Mak­ing use of their ad­duc­tor mus­cle, they open and close valves, push­ing wa­ter out.

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