In May it was announced that a new species of slug had been discovered
on Australia's Mount Kaputar. It doesn't sound like it's all that
interesting unless you a big mollusk fan, but this is not your average
garden slug. You're not going to find this bad boy lurking in the leaf
litter around your yard anytime soon. This is a Giant Pink Slug.
The slug is not just kind of pink either. It is a bright, brilliant pink. Hot pink. Neon pink. Unbelievably pink. Just in case you couldn't notice it from the color it is also about 8 inches long when fully grown. Take these unique features to the standard slimy, gooey unpleasantness common to all slugs around the world and you have the beginnings of a bad science fiction movie.
All that aside, the creature is found in only one small area -- the subalpine area of Mount Kaputar, a former volcano located in northern New South Wales. It was a volcanic eruption 17 million years ago that created the rare ecosystem that has allowed these invertebrates to thrive.
The ecosystem is so fragile that a change in temperature of just a couple of degrees could spell disaster for life there. The NSW Scientific Committee is considering making the area a protected "endangered ecological community."
While locals have known about the slugs for years, researchers have only recently confirmed that the mollusks are native only to this one small area.
They hide out during the day and traverse the trees at night in search of food. They feed on mold and moss that grows abundantly in the rainforest environment.
The Giant Pink Slugs are not the only strange mollusks inhabiting this area of Mount Kaputar -- there are also cannibal snails that like to snack on their vegetarian cousins.