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Sea hares engaged in reproduction.

Sea hares engaged in reproduction.

Sea hares are grouped in the Mollusk phylum, along with barnacles, clams and squid. Like squid and octopus they can squirt out ink. Like most snails they are hermaphrodites. They have functional male and female parts once they reach sexual maturity. No they can’t fertilize themselves. One snail…,no eggs. Two snails…..two sets of eggs. The female parts are on inside the folds on the back. The male part, when in use, protrudes from the head. This gives new meaning to the expression ‘dickhead’. The sea hare to the right is performing the male role only. The one in the middle is both acting as a male and submitting as a female. The one on the right is receiving only.┬áThese creatures eat slightly toxic algae called Lawrences Algae. They accumulate this toxin to make themselves taste nasty and thereby avoid being eaten. They have very slow acting neurons and are used in research for that reason.