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Video: Bizarre Creature Captured Off Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

Bizarre animal is Melibe fimbriata, a nudibranch

By | January 16, 2013

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Nudibranch

Nudibranch. Screengrab by Robert Suntay

While there are more than 3,000 species of nudibranch, Philippine diver Robert Suntay was able to capture (on video) one doing what it does on the sea floor in Anilao, Batangas, Philippines, a very popular dive spot just south of Manila. Suntay was diving at night with Kim Manzano, who spotted the Melibe fimbriata crawling and feeding about 15 feet down on the sandy bottom. Suntay said that the nudibranch was about 10-12 inches long and had 10 or 12 paddle-like appendages that it used to scoot along the sea floor. Pretty bizarre and interesting at the same time

Melibe fimbriata are found throughout the Indo-Pacific. They prey on crustaceans and also eat zooxanthellae. They are mostly translucent in color with pale yellow-brown or greenish colorations. They have an oral hood around its mouth that is fringed with tentacles that are used to trap their prey. Other species of nudibranchs feed on soft corals, anemones, sponges, and algae. They are generally short lived and don't usually do well in an aquarium.

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