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Sea Slugs of the Northeastern Pacific

March 4 @ 1:00 am PST

Related to dull-colored, garden-munching land slugs, “naked gilled” sea slugs (nudibranchs) are some of the most colorful and charismatic inhabitants of the marine world. They come in all different shapes and sizes – as small as a grain of rice or as large as a loaf of bread – yet these animals have no commercial value. Why are we so fascinated with them? The first part of this presentation will review what a sea slug is, the various families and clades to which they belong and basic steps for classifying and identifying the species that can be found in our area. For a naturist in search of sea slugs on the beach or underwater, knowing what they eat and their seasonality is the key to spotting different species. The second part will cover my own journey from being a curious newbie scuba diver 18 years ago who had never heard of nudibranchs to an active amateur naturalist who helped describe species previously unknown to science in the northeastern Pacific. In this talk I’ll not only present basic aspects of temperate northeastern Pacific nudibranch biology and ecology but I’ll discuss my 15-year study of the diversity and seasonality of nudibranchs found in my “front yard” to illustrate how anyone’s careful observations can contribute to the body of scientific knowledge.

About our speaker: Karin Fletcher has worked with mollusk scientists from all over the world as a co-author on numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications which have helped to refine the classification of existing species and to identify new species. She is also co-author of the recently published field guide “Nudibranchs & Sea Slugs of the Eastern Pacific”.

 

 

Details

Date:
March 4, 2024
Time:
1:00 am PST
Event Categories:
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