Philippe Cousteau Talks Sex-Crazed Sea Slugs

In the latest webisode of his online series, The Aquatic World With Philippe Cousteau, Jacques' grandson explores a particular species of sea slug that prioritizes two of our favorite things: food and sex.


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Cousteau explains that nudibranchs, a group of gastropod mollusks that shed their shells after their larval stages, spend their entire adult life looking for food and mating. But there is much more to these slugs than experiencing the simple pleasure of life. Case in point: Nudibranchs happen to be poisonous if eaten by predators. This is why they are so brightly colored. Since nudibranchs are blind, the hues aren't used to attract mates, but to warn others not to eat them. The small mollusks (which are about the size of your fingertip) use chemosensory organs located on their bodies to sense light and dark, in place of eyes.

In one sweeping generalization of the hermaphroditic invertebrates near the end of the short clip, Cousteau states: "Nudibranchs — sex-crazed, poisonous sea slugs" That sounds like an insult you'd brand an ex with. Or put on a T-shirt, which Cousteau and his red-capped comrade take the liberty to do. 

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