September 30, 2000
From: Jacob Benveniste
Dear Dr. Rudman:
My name is Jacob and am 9 years old. I live in Redlands, California and am doing a class report on the Nudibranch. I have been able to answer most of my questions using your web-site except one. How do Nudibranchs protect themselves from dryness? Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Also, thanks for you web-site. Its been very helpful....
firstname.lastname@example.orgBenveniste, J., 2000 (Sep 30) Protection from Dryness . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3092
One of the problems of being a sea slug is that they have no real protection from drying out. Nudibranchs breathe through their feathery gills and also through their skin, and if they dry out, they can't breathe and will die. One reason that land slugs and snails are 'slimy' is because they produce a layer of mucus over their skins to keep them wet.
Like fish and most marine animals, once they get caught outside their normal watery environment they will quickly get into serious trouble. Nudibranchs usually stay near their food, such as sea anemones, sponges etc., which will also die if they dry out. Since their food will only grow in areas that stay wet, nudibranchs are usually safe from being caught out of water.
Good Luck with your project,
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