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17 New Sea Slugs Were Just Discovered & They're All Stunning [PHOTOS]

There are so many pretty species under the sea.


The world got quite a gift recently on National Sea Slug Day: 17 colorful new species to look at and adore.

According to a CAS press release, researchers from California Academy of Sciences studied just one genus of sea slug, the Hypselodoris, to find all of these new individual species.

Sea slugs aren't the only sea animals whose family trees are expanding thanks to advances in genetic testing. As Azula previously reported, now scientists don't have to rely solely on what an animal looks like to group a species.

Advanced testing results in new species being discovered right under our noses.

Giphy

The CAS press release reported that its scientists sussed out these 17 species and discovered that coloring isn't nearly enough to identify a species. That's because sea slugs can actually change and adapt their patterns even within one species when it's advantageous to do so.

For example, the Hypselodoris iba was photographed by the researchers as both white with orangish patches and solid purple.

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

According to the press release, the researchers believe the purple one evolved to be that way because it lives where it's better to be that color.

"They reside in the same geographic region where being purple is advantageous for avoiding predators either as camouflage or warning of distastefulness," slug expert Terry Gosliner said in the press release.

It seems to have stolen the idea from the already known purple species Hypselodoris bullocki that shares the same location.

So color alone isn't enough to tell species apart, but it is one of the coolest things about a sea slug. And these 17 new species definitely delivered in the patterning department. Check them out below:

1. Hypselodoris lacuna

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

2. Hypselodoris alburtuqali

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

3. Hypselodoris brycei

© Nerida Wilson

4. Hypselodoris cerisae

© Rie Nakano

5. Hypselodoris confetti

© J. Goodheart

6. Hypselodoris iba

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

7. Hypselodoris juniperae

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

8. Hypselodoris katherinae

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

9. Hypselodoris melanesica

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

10. Hypselodoris paradisa

© Vanessa Knutson

11. Hypselodoris peri

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

12. Hypselodoris roo

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

13. Hypselodoris rositoi

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

14. Hypselodoris skyleri

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

15. Hypselodoris variobranchia

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

16. Hypselodoris violacea

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

17. Hypselodoris yarae

Terry Gosliner © California Academy of Sciences

It'll be another year before National Sea Slug Day comes back around. And at the rate scientists are going, we could have a ton more species identified by then.

Get excited.

Giphy

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