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A rainbow slug in the UK! Why is this not good news?

Slugs are generally very unsavory. But the one that Vicky Barlow, a nature lover, flushed out under a rock covered withalgaealgae south of Cornwall (UK) is not quite like the others. Pink, red, purple, orange. She takes all colorscolors of the rainbow. Or almost…

A great discovery, but rather bad news, a priori. Because what rainbow sea slugs particularly enjoy is basking in warm waters. They should therefore remain extremely rare on the side of the United Kingdom. Except, a report from the National Oceanography Center in Southampton recently revealed that sea surface temperatures around the UK have been rising by around 0.3°C per decade over the past 40 years. By the end of the century, they could increase by more than 3°C. Enough to seduce the nudibranchs that are the rainbow sea slugs. Especially since they do not live much longer than a year and thus react quickly to climate change.

For the record, note that these colors that we find pretty were, in fact, developed by sea slugs – devoid of shellsshells protective – to scare off their predators!

Written by Emilie Grenaud

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