Sea Slug Turns Prey to Poison
Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2011/03/19/BioForum_Using_Data_to_Infer_Climatic_Shifts_on_CA_Coast Marine biologist Terry Gosliner presents a species of nudibranch, or sea slug, which has undergone evolutionary adaptation. Most aeolidina sea slugs eat prey with stingers, transport the stinging cells through their digestive tracts and incorporate them into their own bodies. "They take the defensive mechanism of a prey item and then can utilize that for their own defense," explains Gosliner. ----- The California coast includes some of the most diverse marine habitats in the world, but the health of our coastal habitats is at risk. Climate change, pollution, and overfishing threaten to diminish the vitality of the marine ecosystems which play an important role in San Francisco Bay Area life. Join the California Academy of Sciences to learn about the amazing diversity of life just off our coast and how local researchers are working to understand the effects of global climate change on intricate species interactions. What are the challenges we face as ocean conservators and educators, and what actions can we take? - California Academy of Sciences Dr. Terrence Gosliner is Senior Curator and Dean of Science and Research Collections at the California Academy of Sciences where he has worked since 1982. His research on the systematics, phylogenetics and comparative biology nudibranchs and other sea slugs, has focused on the implications of phylogenetic studies to understanding the evolution of shell-loss, mimicry and other comparative aspects of the evolution of this group of marine organisms. He has studied the diversity of these mollusks along the California coast for more than forty years. Most recently, this work employs evolutionary studies to develop new strategies for conservation of Philippine reefs in the center of the center of marine biodiversity. He has developed key collaborations with research institutions, conservation organizations and large public exhibits to bring these findings to diverse audiences.