Giant Pink Slug - Slimy But Fashionable
Not everything that's amazing has to be pretty, and if you want proof of that then you need to look no further than the recently discovered slugs and snails of the Mount Kaputar in Australia. Local people knew about these mollusks for a while but scientists are just getting around to cataloging them. High atop the mountain that sits near Narrabri, scientists recently found a veritable "Lost World" with inhabitants including fluorescent pink slugs that grow to about eight inches long. Also discovered there was a species of cannibal snail.
The giant slug (also called the "blood" slug for obvious reasons) survives off of moss and mold that it gets during nighttime feeding frenzies. Amazingly enough, if not for a volcanic eruption that occurred 17 million years ago, the ecosystem wouldn't even exist. Basically, the volcanic eruption sealed the area off from the drying out that occurred over the rest of the country and allowed it to maintain its rainforest characteristics long past it had any business doing. In fact, the creatures and their endangered ecological community can be traced all the way back to before Australia separated from surrounding landmasses. This fragile area is now under the protection of conservationists, as even the slightest human-induced climate change could result in the area drying up and the invertebrate species dying out. These creatures might not be the cutest (or are they?), but they're fascinating relics of a time long since passed, and they need to be saved for future generations to appreciate.
Why are they pink? Some scientists think the are using it as camouflage. They live where red eucalyptus leaves cover the forest floor so the pink blends in well. It is also shows good taste in fashion.