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New Hot-Pink Slug Found in Australia
National Geographic ^ | June 10, 2013 | Carrie Arnold

Posted on 06/13/2013 2:19:25 AM PDT by beaversmom

He’s big. He’s slimy. And he’s … neon pink?! Meet Triboniophorus aff. graeffei, a new species of 8-inch-long (20-centimeter-long) slug that’s found only on one Australian mountain.

Scientists already knew that a bright-pink slug lived on Mount Kaputar (map), thinking it was a variety of the red triangle slug, a species common along the east coast of Australia. But new research shows that the colorful critter is actually its own species, said Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Michael Murphy.

“Recent morphological and genetics work by a researcher working on this slug family—the Athorcophoridae—has indicated the Kaputar slugs are a unique species endemic to Mount Kaputar and the only representative of this family in inland Australia,” said Murphy, who’s been stationed on Mount Kaputar for 20 years. (Also see “Photos: Fiery Sea Slug Discovered, Lays Lacy Egg Case.”)

The pink slug had gone unstudied for so long because Australian slug and snail researchers—known as malacologists—are far outnumbered by their koala-investigating brethren, Murphy said.

Their research on the new slug will likely be submitted for publication soon, he added.

Meanwhile, though, the Australian government has moved to protect this rosy rarity and other unique species by designating their mountain home in New South Wales as an ”endangered ecological area.”

“Quirk of Evolution”

Tens of millions of years ago, Australia was part of a larger southern continent known as Gondwana, which included Australia, Papua New Guinea, India, and parts of Africa and South America. It was covered in rain forests similar to those of modern-day Papua New Guinea.

A volcanic eruption 17 million years ago on Mount Kaputar kept a small, four-square-mile (ten-square-kilometer) area lush and wet even as much of the rest of Australia turned to desert. This changing environment marooned the plants and animals living on Mount Kaputar from their nearest neighbors for millions of years, making the area a unique haven for species such as the pink slug.

Because the pink slugs live in beds of red eucalyptus leaves, Murphy suspects their color could potentially serve as camouflage, helping the animals blend in to their leafy habitat.

“However, [the slugs] also spend a lot of their time high on tree trunks nowhere near fallen leaves, so it is possible that the color is just a quirk of evolution. I think if you are isolated on a remote mountaintop, you can pretty much be whatever color you like,” Murphy noted.

Slug Fan

Murphy added that the slugs play important roles in their ecosystems—for example, by recycling plant matter.

“I’m a big believer in invertebrates. People tend to focus on the cute and cuddly bird and mammal species like koalas. But these little behind-the-scenes invertebrates really drive whole ecosystems,” Murphy told the Australian Broadcasting Service.

Besides the pink slug, researchers have also identified several other invertebrate species that are unique to Mount Kaputar, such as the Kaputar hairy snail and the Kaputar cannibal snail.

These finds, combined with Mount Kaputar’s uniqueness and the growing threat from global warming—temperatures just a degree or two warmer would destroy Kaputar’s flora and fauna—prompted the Australian government’s proposal to preserve Kaputar.

“They are a unique and colorful part of our natural heritage, and we should do everything we can to avoid causing their extinction,” Murphy said.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: wildlife


1 posted on 06/13/2013 2:19:25 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

The Schiaparelli Slug. ;o)


2 posted on 06/13/2013 2:27:31 AM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert

I had to look up that reference. See I post about a hot pink slug and learn something about fashion in the process. Very cool. :)


3 posted on 06/13/2013 2:31:13 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

Democrats!!


4 posted on 06/13/2013 2:40:47 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama equals Osama))
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To: beaversmom

Bet they would be great for bait


5 posted on 06/13/2013 2:48:53 AM PDT by NEPA (Give me liberty, not debt)
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To: beaversmom

‘Em’s good eatin’...taste like bubble-gum!...;)


6 posted on 06/13/2013 3:04:55 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum -- "The Taliban is inside the building")
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To: beaversmom

“They are a unique and colorful part of our natural heritage, and we should do everything we can to avoid causing their extinction,” Murphy said.

Breed them to sell as pets. You can put me on the waiting list.


7 posted on 06/13/2013 3:33:26 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: beaversmom
The article mentions a 'red triangle slug' as seen below. Strange!


8 posted on 06/13/2013 3:37:51 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: beaversmom
These finds, combined with Mount Kaputar’s uniqueness and the growing threat from global warming—temperatures just a degree or two warmer would destroy Kaputar’s flora and fauna—prompted the Australian government’s proposal to preserve Kaputar.

If gobal warming (we are back to that from 'climate change' when it suits the narrative) is anywhere near the threat we are told it is, then that econsystem is doomed anyway, so why bother?

9 posted on 06/13/2013 3:38:48 AM PDT by expat1000
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To: beaversmom

Global warming may threaten the d*** slugs?

Now that their location is revealed, kids with salt will be a far greater threat. Just sayin.


10 posted on 06/13/2013 3:52:40 AM PDT by Cyclops08
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To: beaversmom

Okay, that takes Australia off my list. Yeeechh!


11 posted on 06/13/2013 4:24:13 AM PDT by BillyBonebrake
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To: BillyBonebrake
"Okay, that takes Australia off my list. Yeeechh!"

Billy, I think you are confusing these guys with leaches (the things that attach on our legs and suck blood). These are not leaches, slugs are sort of like snails without a shell and harmless. :)

12 posted on 06/13/2013 4:54:55 AM PDT by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie mmm mmm mmm)
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy
You mean *homeless* :D


13 posted on 06/13/2013 5:04:30 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
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To: Hardraade
Invaded the WH.


14 posted on 06/13/2013 5:06:42 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
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To: NEPA
BYOH [BringYourOwnHook]


15 posted on 06/13/2013 5:27:19 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
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To: beaversmom

Don’t lick the brown cane toads. The brown cane toads are bad.


16 posted on 06/13/2013 5:57:48 AM PDT by dmcnash (Back off! I'm a Scientist.)
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To: beaversmom
“I’m a big believer in invertebrates.

He'd love Republicans in Congress.

17 posted on 06/13/2013 6:03:25 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: beaversmom

Hey my dog has one of those.


18 posted on 06/13/2013 6:10:22 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!)
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To: Daffynition

Oh my, seeing your picture I can imagine hooking that slug and trolling for stripers.
Or better yet... texas rig it and sling it up against some riprap. Goodness a large mouth would tear that up!


19 posted on 06/13/2013 6:13:42 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!)
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To: envisio

>>...trolling for stripers.<<

Guess what I had for dinner last night? MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm...great! One of our faves from the early summer sea!


20 posted on 06/13/2013 6:19:55 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
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To: Daffynition

What? No invite? No freezer packs to give out?
Oh, thats right, you don’t even know me. Oh well, I bet it was good anyhow.

Fillet them, cut them in about one-inch cubes... little flour and cornmeal... get the peanut oil out... some fried taters and coleslaw. goodNESS. Everybody happyhappyhappy.


21 posted on 06/13/2013 6:31:30 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!)
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To: envisio

We like *Poor Man’s Lobster* with melted butter ‘n a squeeze of lemon!

http://pdg.net/catchatarian/?p=13 [we use a tad of Old Bay in the boil]


22 posted on 06/13/2013 6:36:50 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
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To: Daffynition

“Poor Man’s Lobster”

They say that like its an alternative if you can’t have lobster. Shoot, I’d rather have this than lobster anyday...


23 posted on 06/13/2013 6:40:23 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!)
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To: envisio

We serve the PoorMan’s at BBQs...guests love it! An inexpensive treat, if lobstah isn’t on sale that week.

I don’t have any striper in the freezer yet....we’ve been gobbling it all up at every sitting....


24 posted on 06/13/2013 6:48:15 AM PDT by Daffynition (Stand Your Ground)
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To: beaversmom

I had to look up that reference.

* * *

I have no idea why I even know that! LOL! I think it was in a book on fashion that my mom had when I was a kid. Geez, the useless stuff stored in this brain of mine.... :)


25 posted on 06/13/2013 10:11:12 AM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert
I have no idea why I even know that! LOL! I think it was in a book on fashion that my mom had when I was a kid. Geez, the useless stuff stored in this brain of mine.... :)

Isn't it amazing what one can remember all of sudden? I do that, too. Things that I didn't even remember were in there until something sparks it.

26 posted on 06/13/2013 12:18:40 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: envisio

LOL...you is bad envisio! :)


27 posted on 06/13/2013 12:49:18 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: Moonman62

LOL! I love it.


28 posted on 06/13/2013 12:49:47 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

GAY.


29 posted on 06/13/2013 3:25:19 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Hater!


30 posted on 06/13/2013 3:44:40 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

Newly discovered hot pink slugs... Hard to see I guess! ; )


31 posted on 06/13/2013 6:35:28 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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