Mystery sea creature discovered in UK waters

A new species of sea slug has been discovered in UK waters. It was caught off the south-west of England from a research ship.

The creature has been named Pleurobranchaea Britannica. It belongs to a group found in warmer waters, which could be migrating north due to climate change.

With ocean temperatures at record levels there is concern about the impact on marine life. Ross Bullimore of the Centre for the Environment, Food and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) made the serendipitous discovery.

About 100 different sea slugs are found in the seas off Britain and Ireland, but he knew instantly this was something special.

“It was like a light bulb going off,” he said. The scientists say the discovery shows we still have more to learn about life in our seas, which are among the best studied in the world.

“To find a new species that’s not microscopic is quite exciting. It shows that there’s still work to be done,” said Peter Barry of CEFAS. Sea slugs are a type of shell-less marine mollusc renowned for their remarkable variety and beauty.

Despite their diminutive size – growing only to around 5cm (2ins) in length- they are a top predator occupying a key position in the food chain.

Source: BBC

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