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Giant pink slugs found in lost world

Posted on Thursday, 30 May, 2013 | Comment icon 16 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 3.0 Ros Runciman

In the misty highlands of Mount Kaputar in Australia scientists have uncovered a hidden ecosystem.

In a high-altitude haven that has been cut off for millions of years, giant fluorescent pink slugs and cannibalistic snails eke out an existence in the undergrowth at the mountain top. These species have survived from a time when much of eastern Australia was covered in rainforest thanks to a volcanic eruption that took place up to 17 million years ago.

"It's a tiny island of alpine forest, hundreds of kilometres away from anything else like it," said ranger Michael Murphy. "The slugs, for example, are buried in the leaf mould during the day, but sometimes at night they come out in their hundreds and feed off the mould and moss on the trees. They are amazing, unreal-looking creatures."

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

  View: Full article |  Source: The Age

  Discuss: View comments (16)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Junior Chubb on 30 May, 2013, 17:11
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...
Comment icon #8 Posted by Lava_Lady on 30 May, 2013, 18:37
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.
Comment icon #9 Posted by .Betta on 30 May, 2013, 22:08
Wow, very interesting.
Comment icon #10 Posted by little_dreamer on 30 May, 2013, 23:40
Creepy yet interesting.
Comment icon #11 Posted by AliveInDeath7 on 31 May, 2013, 1:24
I love finds like these. Always something to be discovered.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DKO on 31 May, 2013, 2:40
It's a Pneumostone. That's what they breathe through. I've never noticed on a normal slug either.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Troublehalf on 31 May, 2013, 9:19
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 ... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Lava_Lady on 31 May, 2013, 9:22
Oh cool, thanks! I figured that's what it is but since slugs are hermaphrodites I wasn't sure... lol
Comment icon #15 Posted by Dan'O on 31 May, 2013, 11:27
We have seven inch slugs that come up out of our porch and eat our dogs food.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Lava_Lady on 2 June, 2013, 7:06
Your dog can't be to happy about that! lol

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