Gastropods of Point Fermin Print


Gastropods of Point Fermin Print


11x14 giclée print on textured watercolor paper.

The Point Fermin tidepools, between San Pedro and Palos Verdes, host a myriad of fascinating sea life, including a variety of gastropods - otherwise known as slugs and snails. A little bit of searching - it helps to know what you are looking for - reveals a wide variety of interesting slimy creatures with unique characteristics.

While visiting recently, a young woman approached me holding a massive black blob. “Do you guys want to see a sea slug?” she asked casually. That was my introduction to the largest gastropod in the world, the Black Sea Hare. It is a mild, vegetarian creature that can grow up to two feet long and whose eggs look like ramen noodles.

A close relative, the California Sea Hare (pictured in the bottom left of the drawing) has a surprising tactic - it exudes a cloud of purple ink when it’s bothered. It has also become valuable to neurological research due to its unusual learning capacity.

Navanax, bottom right, is a lovely but deadly slug. In contrast to the gentle giant black sea hare, it is a voracious predator, even a cannibal. It is pictured here hunting down one of its own kind.

The startlingly vibrant Spanish Shawl nudibranch is one of many nudibranchs in the pools, but rarely spotted. It contorts its body to madly propel itself away from predators, like the little shore crab taking a swipe at it.

One of the lovely things about the tide pools in LA is that none of the creatures are poisonous or dangerous. As long as a visitor is gentle and careful, it is a rare opportunity to get up close to and even touch creatures that seem wildly exotic to an average city dweller.

Special thanks to Aron Sanchez, aka @waterbod, for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for tidepool creatures.

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