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This is the newly discovered California sea slug, Flabellina goddardi, with egg case. (Credit: Jeff Goddard, MSI, UCSB)
Sometimes, treasures can be found in your own backyard -- especially if you know what to look for. This is what happened to Jeff Goddard, project scientist with the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara
Goddard was working in the tide pools at Carpinteria Reef, in Carpinteria State Park, Calif., when he found a new species of nudibranch -- a group of sea slugs noted for their bright colors and delicate forms. Recognizing it as new, Goddard carefully documented the living specimen before preserving it and sending it off to Terrence M. Gosliner, an authority on the taxonomy of sea slugs at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Goddard kept the slug in his lab for a few days, until it laid an egg mass, and was also able to observe its early development and hatching larvae.
Gosliner named the new sea slug after Goddard when he described it -- and one other newly discovered species of California nudibranch -- in the Sept. 15 online edition of the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences.
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