Thursday, March 28, 2013

Calvin would have loved this critter!

I'm sure many readers are familiar with the comic strip 'Calvin and Hobbes'.  The protagonist, Calvin, has a peculiar relationship with nasal fluids, particularly boogers.  I think he'd have absolutely loved this report from Discovery News.

Sea hares possess a weapon that even the best comic book writers couldn’t have dreamed up: an inky mucus-like substance that, when squirted at enemies, prevents them from smelling.

The discovery, reported in The Journal of Experimental Biology, reveals how complex and effective some natural chemical defenses can be.

Sea hares are a type of sea slug that has head appendages resembling rabbit ears (or at least someone thought that), hence the name. In Australia, they’re called “beach blobbies.”

Many marine inhabitants steer clear of them, and it’s easy now to understand why.

. . .

The lobsters [that hunt sea hares] are usually left in dismay, preening and cleaning themselves while the sea hare slithers away.

There's more at the link, including photographs of the wee beasties.

According to Wikipedia, people actually eat these things!  All together, now . . . Eeeeeewww!


1 comment:

daniels said...

Oh yes, sea hares are awesome. I've got one in my saltwater aquarium at home. They have quite the personality too!