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Horned Aeolid - Hermissenda Crassicornis
These nudibranchs (Latin for naked lungs) are brilliant, wonderful, and surprisingly, abundant in the harbor. They can be found at the water's edge, on the docks and all the way down to the sandy and silty bottom of the upper harbor. They are often around three inches long and are meat eaters. They graze on anemones, tunicates and hydroids and have developed the extraordinary ability to eat the stinging cells of their prey converting them to their own defense. They have also evolved to use the colors from their prey to blend into their surroundings as well as warning predators that they are toxic to eat. They aren’t just passive aggressive. They can be aggressive toward each other and in captivity have been observed to be cannibalistic.
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