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The California brown sea hare

Have You Seen The Elusive Sea Hare?

    April 14, 2015

These folks from Minnesota weren’t quite sure what they were seeing on our three-hour tour, when Kayak Connection guide Franco pulled up this monster from the depths of the Elkhorn Slough! If a look is worth a thousand words, then you can see from her expression that this was both a fascinating…and well….slimy experience! It’s hard to believe the sheer girth of these creatures until you see one in person. Adult sea hares can weigh up to fifteen pounds!

The California brown sea hare is commonly referred to as a sea slug. It is a marine snail that has an interior small remnant of a shell and no external shell. The common name, sea hare, comes from its large anterior tentacles that quite frankly look like two long bunny ears. As if a fifteen pound slug weren’t strange enough, its natural defense mechanism makes it even more interesting. The sea hare protects itself by expelling massive amounts of purple ink that is sure to stain any sweatshirt or life-vest that happen to fall victim to its inky tantrum.

You may think it would be easy to spot such a giant slug cruising around the Slough, but these guys are masters of disguise. They look very much like the kelp and seaweed in which they hide, and it takes an experienced guide to spot them underwater. Your best chance of spotting them is on our Three Hour Elkhorn Slough tour; reserve your spot today!


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