Amazing Animal of the Week – the Banana Slug

In the course of updating my virtual tour product line, I was reminded of some amazing animals so I’d like to present to you the Amazing Animal of the Week! Today’s animal is the banana slug which is amazing for many reasons.File:Banana slug at UCSC.jpg

Banana slugs are native to the dense, moist forest floors of California’s redwood forest and are the second largest species of land slung in the world. They can grow up to almost 10 inches long and are yellow, which explains the name. They move at an astonishing 6.5 inches per minute and secrete a thick slime that helps keep them from drying out. The slime also provides a slippery layer for them to ooze on. The slime also has some protective qualities – it tastes bad and makes any would-be predator’s tongue go numb for a while which might result in the predator spitting them out. As a consequence, some predators like raccoons, ducks and geese have evolved the neat trick of rolling the slugs in the dirt for a while to get the slime off. The slime leaves a signature smell for other slugs to find them, possibly even to mate.

Banana slugs have one lung, one food, and are invertebrates. They have tentacles with light sensors on the top of their heads as well as smaller tentacles in the front of their face which can feel and smell. Tentacles will grow back if one is lost to an accident or predator. Banana slugs are are decomposers and eat dead organic matter including leaves, plants, animal feces, moss, and mushrooms and recycle them into nutrient dense waste which fertilizes healthy soil. 

Check out this amazing animal of the week here:

 

 

Banana slug image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

 

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Published by JustAddH2OTeacher

Science teacherpreneur

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