Among the rare and beautiful creatures on Earth is the blue dragon. A small and strange creation is a little like a marine inhabitant. It received such an unusual name due to its bizarre appearance.
Despite its attractiveness and small size, the mollusk is a dangerous predator and skillfully masked in its natural habitat.
The clam has a slender body, elongated from the rear end. Body length 5-40 mm
Blue dragon belongs to the genus nudibranch. This species of gastropods is also called glaucus or blue angels.
Creatures are distinguished by the absence of shells and the presence of secondary skin gills located on the sides of the body and visible due to the bright color.
Glaucus resembles a brooch or a fantastic blue bird. Their slender body reaches a length of 3-4 cm, but some larger specimens can grow up to 8 cm.
The body has a slim and slightly thickened form. At the very end, it is quite elongated. A wide and well developed leg runs along it.
It is a special muscular growth, open in front and tapering towards the end.
The head is small in size with a blue dragon. The mollusk has 3 paired groups of branched extremities in the form of finger-like outgrowths – cerate, which are ray-like tentacles.
It is thanks to them that blue dragons look attractive and unusual. The cerats are different in length, but the most developed of them are on the back side.
These tentacles improve the swimming ability of the mollusk. The basis of the color of his body is a beautiful combination:
In the back area, the color may be brownish or dark blue. The oral tentacles, the lower part of the cerate and the olfactory organs are distinguished by a rich blue color.
A dark blue shading passes along the cerate, and a blue stripe is visible along the foot.
This color is protective, because the mollusks look invisible in the water expanses. Waves often throw them on the sandy shore.
Then they immediately catch the eye, attracting attention with its bright appearance.
The maximum number of mollusks can be observed off the coast of Southeast Africa and Australia. Very rarely they appear in European waters. This is explained by the fact that blue dragons inhabit the vast expanses of the tropical belt.
They, unlike other gastropods, always close to the surface of the water and never dwell at the bottom. The reason for this way of life is the periodic trapping of air bubbles.
They fall into the stomach of a blue angel, due to which he is kept afloat.
During the movement, the back of the sea dweller is in the lower position, and the foot sticks tightly to the surface of the water. Equilibrium distributes the body of the mollusk upside down.
It moves across the surface tension film in search of food.
The blue dragon is a mollusk, the color and the method of which movement along the water surface creates its invisibility in water and air. The creature often obeys the will of the wind and the waves.
The blue or blue belly makes it imperceptible for birds, and the gray color of the back for sea creatures.
The airy and charming creature is actually a predator. This is a rather dangerous mollusk, representing a deadly threat to other marine life. His diet is unusual and selective.
It consists of hydroid organisms that are common in the habitat area of glaucus. Mollusks can be called cannibals, because they eat their own kind. Favorite food for the blue angel are:
- Portuguese ships;
The last representatives are the poisonous inhabitants of the seas and oceans. Their poison is very dangerous for humans, but for mollusks it is completely harmless. The blue dragon is distinguished by an unusual digestive system, whose branches extend into the depth of the cerate.
In the process of eating poisonous jellyfish harmful substances accumulate in the special digestive organs. The poison remains in the jellyfish stinging cage and retains its deadly properties inside the whelp for a long time.
This poison, accumulated inside the blue dragon, becomes much more dangerous than that of jellyfish. It represents a great threat to the life of other sea creatures.
For this reason, glaucus feels safe, because no one will eat it.
Shellfish are very interesting to eat. When they notice a jellyfish, they swim up to it and, ducking, cling to the bottom. They bite off a piece of meat and then swim along with the victim.
So they move, biting off portions, until they are fully satisfied. The remains of jellyfish are used as an incubator to reproduce offspring.
All blue angels are considered bisexual creatures. In their body nature laid male and female gametes, which produce simultaneously.
Despite this fact, mollusks cannot self-fertilize.
During puberty, individuals mate in the abdomen. Both partners lay eggs in a cocoon like object. It is made from the remains of a jellyfish disk, after which the future offspring develops in it.
Some individuals create a laying in the form of a bar, fastening the eggs with a tube of mucus. This clutch is sent to free swimming and in this form it exists until the larvae appear.
It is quite difficult for humans to see in the natural habitat of blue dragons. Sometimes they can be seen on the shore after a storm.
Now some aquarists manage to keep mollusks at home. Despite its toxicity, glaucus does not pose a danger to humans.
However, ordinary fresh water is not suitable for keeping an exotic creature in an aquarium.
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