COOL IMAGES: Sluggish Beauties

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Science  11 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5383, pp. 1567
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5383.1567c

This curious creature plying the warm waters off the Philippines is a nudibranch, or sea slug (the feathery appendage is its gill). The Blue Dorid, as its species (Hypselodoris bullocki) is known, was photographed by pilot Jeffrey Jeffords, who calls nudibranchs “probably the most beautiful creatures in the ocean.” Certainly they're among the most diverse—members of the phylum Mollusca, nudibranchs number over 3000 species in all shapes and colors. You can see 135 stunning photos of these and other Philippine reef critters, like anemonefish and sea fans, at Jeff's Nudibranch Site (∼zipper/), which also includes a glossary and a book list. For more sea slug Web sites, go to

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