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New Species of Sea Slug Discovered

Marine biologist Jeff Goddard discovered a new species of sea slug in the tide pools of Carpinteria Reef in California. It is only about 15 millimeters long.  He said, “The shallow-water nudibranch fauna of Southern California especially is well known, so it was pretty exciting to find a new species right under our noses here in Santa Barbara County.” (Source: UCSB)

Only one of the new species was found, so more research is needed to find out where they hide, what they eat, how many there are, and how they interact.

Goddard knew it was most likely a new species, and he sent the specimen to scientist Terrence M. Gosliner, a taxonomist from California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Gosliner recognized it as a new species and gave it the name Flabellina goddardi.  Gosliner wrote in the scientific report, “Flabellina goddardi is named for friend and colleague Jeff Goddard who found the only specimen of this distinctive species. Jeff is the consummate naturalist with superb powers of observation.” It is now the fifth species of Flabellina in California.

Gosliner is also an expert in nudibranch species. He does research in the Phillipines where there are 700 species documented so far.

There are enough nudibranch species in California you can purchase ID cards to take on trips to tide pools. These cards are designed to help nature enthusiasts appreciate the biodiversity of Californi’s coasts. Nudibranch sea slugs are often colorful and have textured surfaces. Goldenstate Images has a gallery of sea slugs in California. Photo tips for the brightly colored creatures have been written by Scott Gietler.

Image Credit: Jeff Goddard, UCSB

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19 comments

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8:12AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

fantastic

10:55AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

More new species. Thank you for sharing.

10:19AM PST on Jan 16, 2011

Go vegan!

6:14AM PDT on Oct 1, 2010

Fascinating

8:04AM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

Wow, cool!

12:29PM PDT on Sep 26, 2010

@ Dianne D. Interbreeding leading to new species is most likely not what's happening. When two similar species interbreed successfully, the hybrid produced is usually sterile (like mules, which are a cross of horse and donkey -- mules do not reproduce themselves; baby mules always come from cross-breeding). In order to be considered a species, the new combination has to be able to successfully reproduce themselves and repeat consistely the new combined characteristics.

The reasons there seem to be so many recent discoveries of new species are, among others:

(1) We frequent Care2, which is one of the few news forums where new species discovers are considered "news" and written up for the general public.

(2) As the climate changes and pollution / human predation increases, many scientists have increased their efforts to study niche habitats and the animals in them before they disappear forever.

(3) As science and the ability to travel and explore expand, so do the chances of encountering new species.

7:47PM PDT on Sep 25, 2010

thanks for the article.

5:52PM PDT on Sep 25, 2010

Glad to see Jake giving the Global-(Scam)-Warming religion a break.

Going slightly off-subject, sea slugs, but if we talk about species, health, survival, ecosytems etc. surely we must cover the full spectrum.

Eco-minded Jake should explore, and write about CHEMTRAILS, which affect ALL of us, whether in the US, UK, Europe, NZ, Oz, or Asia.

Jake should also Care2 confirm what is in the Chemtrails, and why they are sprayed.

Over the past decade, independent testing of Chemtrails around the country have shown a dangerous, extremely poisonous brew that includes: barium, nano-aluminium coated fibreglass (known as CHAFF), radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, dessicated blood, mould spores, yellowfungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide and polymer fibres. Barium can becompared to the toxicity of arsenic and is known to adversely affect theheart. Aluminium has a history of damaging brain function. (Refernces available).

Enquries have been met with denials, maybe weather modification, or the usual conspiracy theory claptrap.

Let Care2 not be sensitive about this charged issue, and censor relevant posts.

2:31PM PDT on Sep 25, 2010

New developments or new discoveries, it seems a good sign.

2:04PM PDT on Sep 25, 2010

I rejoice when new species are discovered!

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