Nightmare Animal: The Blood Slug Of Southern Australia Will Haunt Your Dreams

When I was a kid, some friends and I wandered down to the woods at the end of our cul de sac. There, we found an old clawfoot bathtub that someone had dumped. The bathtub was full of water, and we started fishing around in there and pulled out a leech. Holy crap, that was the scariest thing I had ever seen. We threw it back in the tub, but for days I had nightmares that the leech had crawled down the street and into my house and was going to suck my blood. As a consequence, I don’t like leeches, or things that remind me in the slightest of leeches. And that includes slugs. (I hope that leech isn’t reading this right now!)

That said, guys, this is Triboniophorous graeffei (or you can call him Tribs for short). Tribs was recently discovered in the Mount Kaputar area of New South Wales, Australia. And while its nickname does sound rather terrifying, he actually only feeds on moss. (The equally disturbingly named Cannibal Snail was also discovered rooting around in the same soil as the blood slug. The cannibals are so named because they feast on the carcasses of other species of vegetarian snails.) But back to Tribs: he’s believed to have originated in Australia’s mountainous rain forest zone, around 180 million years ago. Ecologists warn that the slug, snail and all of their brethren could be endangered if their climate changed by even a degree or two. So please, leave the blood slugs and cannibal snails alone.  [Daily Mail]