Nudies in Stanley Park!

We’ve been finding some fascinating creatures in the intertidal zone this spring including this nudibranch found by our Environmental Educators, Justine and Chandehl. Read Justine’s Instagram post to learn about the sea slug she photographed at Lumberman’s Arch beach:

Thick-horned nudibranch / Hermissenda crassicorns N U D I B R A N C H Nudi = naked, branchia = gills

Nudibranchs, or sea slugs, are one of my absolute favorite sea creatures and I was absolutely tickled when we found this specimen in the intertidal zone at #stanleypark yesterday. Nudis, like this species, are often brightly colored and they obtain their colors from their prey. This species eats hydroids and anemones and the nudis can actually add its prey’s nematocysts (stinging capsules) to the tips of its cerrata/gills! At first I thought it was an opalescent nudibranch, but they were actually split into 3 species and the thick-horned is the only one that resides near Vancouver. In conclusion, they are gorgeous because they steal color from their prey, they are deadly because they steal stinging cells from their prey, and they are gastropods (mollusks – slugs/snails).