I finally got out diving yesterday, still in time for sea hare season at Wellers Rock!
Sea hares are one of my favourite marine animals (possibly because of their rabbit-like appearance). They were the most abundant animal when I first begun diving, and you had to be careful not to accidentally kneel on any while doing our open water skills. As beginner divers we were terrible at buoyancy control, and we sent sea hares flying through the water behind us.
They are molluscs, with a soft external body, and a hard internal shell protecting the vital organs.
Their rabbit-like appearance is due to 2 large “ears” on their heads, which are rhinophores, used for sensing chemicals in the environment (as their eyes can only distinguish light/dark).
They have a ribbon-like structure called a radula, which is covered in tiny chitinous teeth, which they use to help eat algae.
Sea hares are hermaphroditic, being both male and female. You often find them piled up in lines like these 3, acting as both a male and a female at the same time.
They lay strands of eggs, which look like yellow or pink spaghetti depending on the species.
Unfortunately sea hare season does not last long, so I better get out there while they are still around! Cheers to Atlantis and Splash Dive for keeping me decked out in dive gear to let me do this!