Strange Creatures Found on North Oregon Coast: Sea Angels, Peanut Worms
(Seaside, Oregon) – Crew of the Seaside Aquarium has been getting some interesting reports of what they at times termed “strange creatures” on the north Oregon coast. Some have even wound up in a display for a short period of time. (All photos courtesy Seaside Aquarium's Tiffany Boothe.)
The aquarium's Tiffany Boothe found some Sea Angels earlier this week in Seaside. The little creatures were lying near the tide line at high tide. Amazingly, some were still alive so Boothe took them back to the aquarium and put them in a tank.
“If you would like to see these guys in person they are currently on display at the Seaside Aquarium, but I wouldn't wait too long they have short life cycles,” Boothe said.
The aquarium has not had these kinds of sea slugs before, and without a food source they are not likely to live long. Still, they are living longer than they would have when simply laying on the beach.
Boothe said the scientific name of these is Clione limacina, and they are free-swimming sea slugs which belong to the order Gymnosomata. Found in all warm and temperate seas, this pelagic creature lives amidst plankton. They are known to be highly specialized predator consuming prey three times their own size. They have a pair of wing-like paddles which are used for swimming.
Also in the realm of intriguing are the sudden reports of something called peanut worms. Boothe said the aquarium has received word of these washing up from Rockaway Beach all the way up to the southern Washington coast.
“They are peanut worms, also called sipunculid,” Boothe said. “They have a ring of tentacles surrounding their mouths and bury into either rock or sand depending on species. There are approximately 144-300 different species.”
Below: a peanut worm and video of the sea angels..More about Seaside, Oregon at the bottom and at the Seaside, Oregon Virtual Tour, Map.
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