November 26, 2007
From: Judith Garfield
Concerning message #21088:
Thanks for your response. I don't think I was the culprit in that I was not swimming through kelp at the time. I can say that while the Corambe was below me, it was forward of me and so not near my fins. Either way, I am confident of its flexion behavior. It absolutely wasn't floating or drifting. It was under its own convulsive steam...as it were. Could it be that "swimming" might be worthwhile for an animal likely to settle so high up in the water column and on a substrate that dies and breaks off?
Locality: La Jolla Cove area, 2 feet deep, California, USA, Pacific Ocean, 12 July 2006, rocky reef to sand bottom. Length: 6-7 mm long.
firstname.lastname@example.orgGarfield, J., 2007 (Nov 26) Re: Corambe pacifica swimming?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21125
Dave's away at the moment so I'll share a few thoughts of my own. It certainly wouldn't do Corambe any harm to be able to swim a bit, but I would suspect that occasions that would cause the kelp to break off would involve or create such strong water movements that the meagre flutterings of Corambe would be rather meaningless. The flutterings could be an escape response but like so many behaviours we see in nature, we really have no idea if they are of value.