Philippe Cousteau Talks Sex-Crazed Sea Slugs

Kate Horowitz

Nudibranchs (pronounced NEW-dih-branks) are highly toxic, bright-colored sea slugs and some of the ocean’s most ornate critters. With more than 3000 species, nudibranchs can take many forms. Some look like Pokémon while others look more like an agitated Wilford Brimley

The small mollusks have legs, no shells, gills on their back—and a surprising sex drive. "When these guys aren't looking for food, they're looking for sex," Philippe Cousteau, Jacques Cousteau’s grandson, explains in the video above. And what efficient sex it is! When mating, the hermaphroditic slugs sort of plug into one another, both partners giving and receiving sperm simultaneously.

Check out the Wes Anderson-inspired clip from Great Big Story, in which Cousteau and his assistant offer a brief introduction to the wonderful world of nudibranchs. 

Header image from YouTube // Great Big Story