ceras

What is ceras?

ceras meaning one of many multifunctional horn or lobe-shaped or leaf-like process on the back or side of a nudibranch mollusk (sea slug). It has a major function as a respiratory organ (a gill), and with a branch of the digestive gland, it also serves as an organ for the exchange of gases and other molecules with the blood. The ceras also stores stinging nematocysts in a structure called the cnidosac, from the cnidarians upon which they feed, which gives it a defensive function. Its ability to change color also gives it a protective camouflage function

Image of sea slug
Cerata (plural of ceras) ofAeolidiella foulisi showing the brown duct of the digestive gland and the whitish cnidosac at the tip.

 

reference: Coral Reef Information System – Glossary

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