Found from sandy shallows and reefs to the murky seabed nearly a mile down, nudibranchs thrive in waters both warm and cold and even around billowing deep-sea vents. Members of the gastropod class, and more broadly the mollusks, the mostly finger-size morsels live fully exposed, their gills forming tufts on their backs. (Nudibranch means “naked gill,” a feature that separates them from other sea slugs.) Although they can release their muscular foothold to tumble in a current—a few can even swim freely—they are rarely in a hurry.
These stunning photos were taken by famed underwater photographer David Doubilet for National Geographic Magazine. The featured article by Jennifer S. Holland, goes into lovely detail about about the wide variety of nudibranch species and physiology, but also into the current scientific investigations being conducted on these dynamic creatures of the sea.
The feature includes Davids amazing photo gallery and a video on the “glamour” of the nudibranchs by the man himself and the behavior he observed during their photo shoots.
You can see from this picture just how these amazing high res photo were created in his underwater studio.