Sea hares are hermaphrodites who really like to share the love. During mating, each sea hare serves as both a male and a female to different partners simultaneously, creating a long chain that can yield millions of eggs.
The slow-moving animals are known for defending themselves by squirting an off-putting mixture of purple ink and a white substance called opaline.
Usually when sea creatures secrete an ink cloud, it acts as a distraction that allows for a quick exit from an impending predator. Inherently, sea slugs could never make that fast an exit – so the ink was always a mystery. But scientists have shown the substance coats predators’ antennae, deactivating their chemical senses.
Researchers suggested that with their sense of smell blocked predators lose their appetite and spend a long time cleaning themselves of the sticky coating, allowing the sea hares to escape.
Photo credit: Genevieve Anderson