The Blue Glaucus (Glaucus atlanticus)
The Blue Glaucus also referred to as a Sea Dragon, is a fascinating animal to see. They are sea slugs in the mollusk family. They are related to snails and squid. They are fairly small but their blue skin radiates a beautiful shine. It is due to this coloration and appearance that they are so popular.
Physical Characteristics and Behavior
The main characteristics of the Blue Glaucus would be the beautiful blue shiny skin and the various cerata (finger-like projections) around its body. Despite its stunning appearance, it is very small. Only being about an inch in length. Its blue coloration is a defense tactic known as countershading, which helps it hide from predators in the blue water.
While some pictures may show it in someone's hand, you don't want to hold it. This is because when it eats its prey (such as the Portuguese Man-o-war), it absorbs the toxic stingers as well. As a result, it can sting predators, as well as humans, which can potentially be deadly.
This little guy has been mentioned in Pop Culture as well. There is a fiend in Final Fantasy X named Achelous that is based on the Blue Glaucus. Many other people compare the bright coloration of the Blue Glaucus to that of a Pokemon. But since it is getting more popular, it will be interesting to know how the media portrays it in the coming years.
Distribution and Habitat
The Blue Glaucus lives in temperate waters, and seem to be spotted in seas all over the world. This includes Australia, the US, and even southern Africa. They live in the shallow areas of water near the shore.
While you do not want to hold one, they are a fascinating find on many beaches. So be on the lookout next time you go swimming.