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Rare ‘Blue Dragon’ Sea Slugs Keep Washing Up In Texas — And Nobody Knows Why

Padre Island National Seashore/Facebook

Glaucus atlanticus, known as blue dragon sea slugs have recently been washing ashore on the coastlines of Texas. It’s not the first time they were spotted around Texas, but they were always rare before. Now, there’s an abundance of them found around the state’s Padre Island National Seashore. They may eye-catching, but park officials are now getting worried because these creatures are venomous.

According to CNN, many tourists have found blue dragon sea slugs along the shoreline. The seven-year-old kid named Hunter was one of them.
“Hunter loves sea creatures and thought he had found a blue button jellyfish,” his father Trey Lane said. “After they picked it up in a beach toy he proclaimed to me that he had discovered a new species!”

Here there be dragons!A blue dragon, a type of nudibranch or sea slug, was found in the park this weekend. Blue…

Gepostet von Padre Island National Seashore am Mittwoch, 6. Mai 2020

As the number of these creatures around the place has been increased, the park posted a warning on its Facebook page to remind visitors to be careful.

Blue dragons (Glaucus atlanticus) are extremely unique and they are most known for their powerful defense mechanism. They’re around one inch in size, but quite dangerous and very capable of protecting themselves against potential predators. They can even prey on other venomous siphonophores like the dreaded Portuguese man o’ wars.

“They’re very small, so they’ll catch up to one of this Portuguese man o’ wars and they probably won’t consume the whole thing because of the huge size difference. But it will certainly consume some of the polyps that make up the colony of the Portuguese.” David Hicks, the director for the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, told KVEO.

If you get attacked by their stings, it’s typical to feel pain, nausea, and vomit or have a localized swelling. So, watch out for them in case you’ve found somewhere around the coastline of Texas!

Wikimedia Commons

HT: All That Is Interesting

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