3 News: University investigating sea slug sex life

Deanna Harris reports for 3 News that Massey University is starting research into the mating habits of sea slugs, in an effort to understand why more and more toxic sea slugs are washing up on the beaches around Auckland.

The research will look at the DNA of the slugs, in order to understand the migration habits of their populations, as well as any mutations which are occurring.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Head of the research on the population ecology of the slug, Mr Rainey says there is concern that the toxin they produce, tetrodotoxin, poses a risk to human health as well as potential harm to seafood sources and aquaculture industries.

“The study aims to identify possible migration and mutations within sea slug populations.

“Sea slugs were not previously known to be toxic.

“”It has come to our attention due to the dogs eating them. We want to find out if sea slug populations are increasing and what is causing them to increase.””