June 15, 2002
From: Jim Anderson
Dear Dr. Rudman,
Regarding the recent posting from Baki Yokes.
My recent sighting in Scotland of P. membranaceus had many of the animals with similar looking damage as Baki's animal. The Scottish animals were generally spawning - could the loss of body material be connected? There are no turtles in Scotland other than the odd wandering Leatherback in summer, but certainly not at this time of the year.
firstname.lastname@example.orgAnderson, J., 2002 (Jun 15) Re: Pleurobranchus from Turkey. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7257
Rather than implying that it was probably turtle damage I was trying to say that we know almost nothing about their predators except for one unpublished record of mine of turtles feasting on P. forskalii in Tanzania. I would assume they swallow them whole rather than nibble around the edges. Your suggestion about them being exhausted and 'spent' and at the end of their life cycle after breeding is an interesting thought. I can't imaging the tissue just rotting away around the edges if the animal is still alive, but perhaps they reach a stage when they don't produce or replenish the acid secretions they have in their mantle glands. This would leave them liable to attack from small fish and crustacea. It is certainly something which is worth following up.
Perhaps someone has noticed this previously? Any thoughts welcome.
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