California Sea Hare

Aplysia californica

Gliding along the bottom of shallow saltwater pools is a pear-shaped creature with mottled skin and a fancy ruffle down its back. It’s a type of sea snail that’s lost all but a tiny interior remnant of shell. The rabbit-like “ears” that give the Sea Hare its name are the same taste sensors that snails have. When threatened, the California Sea Hare will squirt out a cloud of purple ink.

Fun Fact:
A squirt of thick purple ink is an effective defense for this peaceful herbivore.

What’s for Lunch:

Where’s Home:
Tidepools and saltwater marsh