Sometimes I think cephalopods get all the news coverage, but what a great week for nudibranchs. My favorite part of the Q&A was about how old nudibranchs are since they don’t fossilize well. Turns out they’re estimated at 180 million years old (take that, dinosaurs!) based on dating their shelled relatives. Reading a little bit about the fossil record for mollusks, I learned some awesome stuff. Mollusks participated in the Cambrian Explosion, which means that there are probably lots of undiscovered mollusk forms. I wish someone would do some digging into that and write a book like Wonderful Life, But For Mollusks (If you haven’t read Wonderful Life, it’s a great book by Stephen Jay Gould on the diversity of arthropod body plans as discovered in the Burgess Shale).
“Lookit my fancy shells! Too bad all of my dinosaur friends are dead…”
And, because no post about nudibranchs is complete without a picture of one, check out this beauty!