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1 MILLION+ sea slugs wash up dead on a beach in Phuket, Thailand

Marine experts are attempting to understand why more than a million sea slugs washed up on a Phuket beach this morning.
 
The name ‘sea slug’ is a common name used specifically for gastropods that are not shell-bearing or appear not to be shell-bearing. Experts believe that the sea slugs found on Kamala Beach are, in fact, sea hares. However, they have yet to determine the exact species.
 
“Adult sea hares are mostly large, bulky creatures. Juveniles are usually not noticed along the shoreline,” said Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong from the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC). “However, that doesn’t appear to be the case here.”
 
‘Sea hare’ is a direct translation from the Latin lepus marinus, which is derived from their rounded shape and from the two long rhinophores that project upwards from their heads, thought to look similar to the ears of a hare.
 
“A team was sent up there to collect samples of both the animals and the seawater to determine exactly what has caused this,” said Charatsee Aungtonya, a marine expert from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 5. 
 
Officials at the PMBC and the DMCR Region 5 were made aware of the situation after local social media networks became abuzz with pictures of the tiny marine creatures on the shore of Kamala.
Courtesy of phuketgazette.net

Dozens of giant purple sea slugs washing ashore in Alameda, California, USA

An invasion of giant purple slugs are washing ashore in the East Bay, populating beaches and waterways.
 
Experts say the high volume of these slugs may be caused by warmer temperatures near coastal waters.
 
The slugs themselves are harmless herbivores, but their enormous size and slimy abundance is disturbing beach-goers.
 
“We are getting calls from the public asking what the heck is this big weird purple blob,” said Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District. “It’s native to our area. It’s not endangered, but they are rarely seen other than an occasional one here or there.”
 
While the quantity of washed-up slugs hasn’t been enumerated, dozens at a time have been seen on the shores.  The slugs were also spotted last month in an inlet leading to Lake Merritt.
 
The slugs can grow to be up to 15 pounds, and more than 30 inches in length, according to officials.
 
Morgan Dill, a naturalist at the Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. “We can’t say for sure why we’re seeing so many, but the Bay temperatures are definitely warmer this year,” Dill told AP.
 
In Oakland, local resident Joel Peter said “I had never seen one before, and then all of a sudden there were 22 of them with these brilliant colors,” Peter said. “They really caught my eye.”
Courtesy of wric.com