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Still Waters

Land of the giant pink slugs

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High in the mists that shroud Mount Kaputar, near Narrabri in north-western NSW, scientists have discovered a secret world.

By day it is an isolated pocket of snow gums, wrapped in straggling native vines.

But on rainy nights, it is the domain of giant, fluorescent pink slugs - up to 20 centimetres long - and carnivorous, cannibal land snails that roam the mountaintop in search of their vegetarian victims.

http://www.theage.co...0528-2n9ik.html

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People tend to focus on the cute and cuddly bird and mammal species like koalas. But these little invertebrates drive whole ecosystems.

Yes they do ///

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I had some eating my cabbages the other day

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The pink one is rather attractive, for a slug. But I'm confused as to how a snail feasts on "other vegetarian" snails? Either it is a vegetarian or it isn't.

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well since we're on the theme ... feasts your eyes on these :

Millipedes, that glow. Just one of the critters that lives on the famous Alcatraz Island that we had no idea about until recently. They were discovered last year during a survey of the island's rat population. While most people are interested in the prison buildings and the history of the inescapable island, other visitors have their eyes on the animal life, including the seabirds like pelicans, cormorants and egrets, and you know, glowing bugs.

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alcatraz-millipede.jpg

pic from

More than a million visitors visit Alcatraz every year, but a recent discovery has revealed another attraction that lives within the shadows of this historic prison. A recent search for rats on the island turned up millipedes glowing intensely white instead. UC Davis entomologists are hard at work determining whether the millipedes are a known subspecies of Xystocheir dissecta the species commonly found around San Francisco Bay.(Jenny Oh/KQED)

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Published on Jun 1, 2012

Behold lighting bugs of a different color! SciFri listener Chris Lavin stumbled upon fluorescing blue millipedes during an evening stroll near her home in Canyon, California and sent along video documentation. Glowing-millipede specialist Paul Marek, an entomologist at the University of Arizona, identified the millipedes, and explained what's known about their mysterious glow.

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Whoa; those things are actually pretty, as long as they aren't in my house.

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wwow nice

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Great article, thanks for posting, it reminds me why I come to UM. :)

These 'Lost world' scenarios really get my imagination going, and makes me ask what else is out there? It's nice to still get excited about these discoveries and to think that a 'Lost World' of a larger scale is waiting to be discovered...

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I love that there are still species out there to be discovered... it just validates how much we really know about the place we've taken over.

Anyone know the anatomy of slugs? The pictured has a hole in it I don't think I've ever noticed local slugs with such a hole. Probably just more noticeable because it's pink? Anyway, the little pink slug looks like a dog pp.

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Wow, very interesting.

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Creepy yet interesting.

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I love finds like these.

Always something to be discovered.

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I love that there are still species out there to be discovered... it just validates how much we really know about the place we've taken over.

Anyone know the anatomy of slugs? The pictured has a hole in it I don't think I've ever noticed local slugs with such a hole. Probably just more noticeable because it's pink? Anyway, the little pink slug looks like a dog pp.

It's a Pneumostone. That's what they breathe through. I've never noticed on a normal slug either.

Slug_parts.png

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Amazing. I love when "Hidden Worlds" or "Lost Worlds" get discovered. There was a recent 'hype' (wrong word but I can't think of another) over that ecosystem which was discovered in the volcano crater which had lots of new species in it, including a new species of mammal (a very very rare event to find new mammals, new bugs are easier to find and in fact, you're more likely to discover new species of bug in your back garden (or yard for American friends) than in rainforests or whatever) which was, IIRC, sort of like a ferret/cat/badger type thing. Can't remember now.

But this is awesome, so the 10km by 10km mountain top is covered in rainforest which is 17 million years old? I don't think it's big enough for mammals or birds to survive, but maybe some reptiles/amphibians? Let's hope we find more cool stuff.

Also, IIRC, there is actually no difference between slugs and snails, some snails have no shells and some slugs do. Most people think if they have a shell, they are snails and so on. Cool either way though. Shame lots of big cats are dying out...

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It's a Pneumostone. That's what they breathe through. I've never noticed on a normal slug either.

Slug_parts.png

Oh cool, thanks! I figured that's what it is but since slugs are hermaphrodites I wasn't sure... lol

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We have seven inch slugs that come up out of our porch and eat our dogs food.

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We have seven inch slugs that come up out of our porch and eat our dogs food.

Your dog can't be to happy about that! lol

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