Tuesday, October 19

Massive arrival of blue dragons to the Canary Islands: scientists say there is no cause for alarm

“There is no cause for alarm.” The Oceanographic scientific dissemination agency has come out to the step of certain voices that have alerted about the arrival of blue dragons to the Canary coasts. “It is one more animal of the rich biodiversity of the Islands; It is oceanic, well camouflaged when it floats on the surface of the ocean and is small (3-4 centimeters for adults) so it is not easy to see in its environment. It is sporadically carried away by the wind and currents along with the jellyfish on which it feeds. At these specific times you can see specimens scattered along the shore ”, the agency has published.

The blue dragon has “the incredible capacity to store the stinging cells of the jellyfish it eats (Portuguese caravel, velella, blue button, etc.) in order to be very dangerous for possible predators”, reports Oceánica. For informative reasons, it can be said that “it accumulates its poison, so that” not touching or disturbing is always the best measure of interaction with nature.

Oceanographic considers that the controversy about the arrival of this species to the Canary coasts is due to the dissemination of incomplete and biased information obtained on the Internet “without associated reliable sources and, of course, the ability of human beings to magnify a supposed alarm without contrasting the information. Blue dragons contain poison, which can be dangerous, yes, but the probability of this happening is very, very low and writing articles that generate alerts do not make any sense with an animal that has been in the Canary Islands longer than humans and for whom people were unaware of its existence because they had not run into it ”.

Oceanographic warns that, although they may be sporadic sightings, “we must be careful that minors and especially babies do not play with them or eat them, no matter how attractive they seem. If we have touched them by chance, wash our hands well and do not touch our face or eyes. But up to there the alert ”.

Curiosities about the blue dragon

The blue dragon is a very special animal “that shows us once again the richness of nature,” emphasizes Oceanographic. It was first described by Forster in 1777. Its name comes from the Greek god Glaucus legend has it that he took some magical herbs that made him immortal.

It is a species of sea slug, a type of mollusk of which there are 290 species in the Canary Islands, according to Leopoldo Moro, a biodiversity technician for the Government of the Canary Islands and an authority on the matter.

It lives upside down and moves under the surface attached to it. It uses countershading as a camouflage system, that is, it has the color of the background on which it lives to make it difficult for its predators to locate them. Seen from above it is an intense blue color like the surface of the sea. Viewed from below it is white / light blue like reflections of the sea and sky.

It is hermaphroditic like most nudibranchs. That is, it has the ability to produce eggs and sperm at the same time but needs another individual to fertilize the eggs. Once fertilized, it lays chains of eggs up to 17 centimeters long, with between 36 and 96 eggs, on floating objects to disperse adrift. It lives between three months and a year distributing itself in waters, mainly warm around the globe.


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