The surprisingly bold and beautiful world of sea slugs

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fried egg nudibranch photo
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On land, slugs are far from nature's most beautiful creatures--but underwater, the family of shell-less creatures known as nudibranchs come in bright neons, glowing pastels, and vibrant primary colors.

The 3,000 different kinds of nudibranchs get their color from the food they eat--and, in some cases, secrete the poisons from their prey to defend themselves against predators.

Fried Egg Nudibranch

The Fried Egg Nudibranch gets its name from the perfect yellow-and-white circles that line its back. These nudibranchs grow to about three inches long, and live in the waters of the Pacific and the Red Sea.

Click through for more brilliant 'branches in a rainbow of colors.

Photo via Jon Hanson @ flickr