Rare ‘blue dragons’ wash up on Texas seashores – but they can be dangerous – The Sun
BEACHGOERS in Texas are discovering rare blue dragons that have washed up on the seashore.
Visitors at the Padre Island National Seashore are discovering the serpentine creatures on beaches.
Although they aren't the majestic fire-breathing creatures their name suggests, the sea dwellers are still "a rare find", the park told KTVT on Monday.
Arizona resident Trey Lane told the news station his son Hunter found four dragons within a few minutes while the family vacationed at the seashore on May 2.
In 30 years of vacationing at the seashore in Texas, Trey said he's never seen anything like it before.
"Hunter loves sea creatures and though he had found a blue button jellyfish," he said.
"After they picked it up in a beach toy, he proclaimed to me that he had discovered a news species!"
Blue dragons are small sea slugs that stretch only a little over an inch long.
They can be found throughout the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, according to the conservation nonprofit Oceana.
Although the sea creatures aren't nearly as large as dragons, the predators can be dangerous.
Blue dragons eat Portuguese Man o' Wars, a group of large invertebrates closely related to jellyfish, and store their prey's stinging cells to use in the future, according to Oceana.
If a human touches the tiny sea slugs, it can release the cells and deliver a sting that can hurt more than a Man o' War's.
"So if you see a dragon in the park, be amazed as they are a rare find, but also keep your distance!" cautioned the National Seashore.
Park spokeswoman Jamie Kennedy told KTVT recent visitors to the seashore have spotted the dragons.
She said the surge in sightings could be from a group washing up on the shore.
But in two years of working at the National Seashore, Kennedy said she hasn't heard of anyone seeing the rare sea slugs until now.
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