This beautiful sea slug has a secret weapon

The opalescent nudibranch recycles its food into stinging spines

While the opalescent nudibranch is a type of “sea slug,” it is also a brilliantly beautiful and vibrant creature. The colourful species each have flowing projections on their backs that harbour a secret weapon.

The nudibranch eats hydroids and anemones — invertebrates that have stinging cells in their tissues. But those cells don’t hurt the nudibranch. Instead, the sea slug transfers the stinging cells to its back projections, where they help to protect it from attack.

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Repurposing the cells in this way allows the nudibranch to recycle the foods it ingests in an ingenious way.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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