Re: Predation by Humans?

September 28, 2001
From: Peter H. van Bragt

Hello Bill,
Regarding the anecdote on human predation, I made some inquiries at the Center For Steinbeck Studies at San José State University, San José, California, U.S.A.. Susan Shilling and Katie Rodger, were very helpful and after some research they send me the following message:
Dear Dr. van Bragt,
Thank you for your interesting request. The only reference similar to your inquiry that I could find was in Steinbeck's essay "About Ed Ricketts" published with the Log from the Sea of Cortez. In the essay,
Steinbeck writes:

"Once in a tide pool we were discussing the interesting fact that nudibranchs, although beautiful and brightly colored and tasty-looking and soft and unweaponed, are never eaten by other animals which should have found them irresistible. He reached under water and picked up a lovely orange-colored nudibranch and put it in his mouth. And instantly he made a horrible face and spat and retched, but had found out why fishes let these living titbits completely alone. On another occasion he tasted a species of free-swimming anemone and got his tongue so badly stung by its nettle cells that he could hardly close his mouth for twenty-four hours. But he would have done the same thing the next day if he had wanted to know."

This comes from page 264 in the 1995 Penguin edition of The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Katie Rodger, Curator, Center For Steinbeck Studies.
I guess that this describes sufficiently the outcome of the experiment. As far as I'm concerned, there is no need for further experiments.

Greetings from the Netherlands
Peter H. van Bragt

van Bragt, P.H., 2001 (Sep 28) Re: Predation by Humans?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Peter,
Bill Rudman


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