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Captivating Blue Dragon Washes Up in Australia

posted: 11/21/15
by: Danny Clemens
Blue dragon
Sylke Rohrlach/Flickr

It takes a lot of courage to go up against the venomous Portuguese man o' war -- a creature that sends even humans bolting out the water -- but the blue dragon is up for the challenge.

As it munches on the highly venomous siphonophore, the blue dragon intentionally eats the man o' war's toxic stingers, storing them within its own body. Now armed and dangerous with its victim's weapon, the blue dragon can impart a nasty sting on any would-be predators.

Also known as Glaucus atlanticus, the small sea slug is found floating along the surface many of the world's oceans, yet rarely seen by humans -- unless it washes ashore, as one did on Australia's Gold Coast earlier this week:

Came across this odd critter at Broadbeach today. It's a Glaucus Atlanticus.

Posted by Lucinda Fry on Thursday, November 12, 2015

 

Griffith University marine invertebrates expert Kylie Pitt told the Gold Coast Bulletin that the "really weird" creatures "float upside down and move around using the water's surface tension."

"I have handled them before and wasn't stung, but I would not recommend anyone pick them up because they can have a painful sting," said added.

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