The Sea Hare Is Not Furry and Cute

Aplysia fasciata Poiret, 1789 English: Mottled...
Aplysia fasciata Poiret, 1789 English: Mottled sea hare stranded on a beach at Sanibel Island in Lee County, Florida, U.S.A. With defensive purple dye. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sea hare is a strange looking creature that you most likely would not want to pick up.  More than likely you would say “what the heck is that?”

It’s a slippery blob that can be dark purple or yellow-green, depending on the type, and it might be washed up on just about any Florida shoreline.  The sea hare  lives in shallow water in sea grass.  Like so much marine life, it can be found washed up on shore after a storm.
They will release a purple ink (like in this photo) when stressed.
An interesting fact about the sea hare is that they eat blue-green algae which sometimes contaminates water.  I’ve read about a number of creatures that help our environment by doing this.

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