Saturday, July 7, 2012

Banana slugs

If you grew up on the Pacific coast of North America, or in the Pacific Northwest in particular, you are probably familiar with the banana slug.  These guys come in a variety of colors and sizes.  I spent my childhood in Washington state, and every summer we took a vacation on the coast as part of a softball tournament that my dad and his friends took part in each year.  Well, we usually spent the softball-at-the-coast weekend at a family friend's beach house which featured a deck in the back.  My dad and his friend, Steve, convinced all the children that a giant banana slug named Samantha lived under the deck, and that Samantha loved to eat children that climbed under there!  Needless to say, none of the kids ever climbed under the deck!

Anyhow, Corinna at The Frog Bag mentioned banana slugs in THIS post which reminded me of my childhood experiences seeing banana slugs in our Washington yard, and the story of the mysterious Samantha the Slug.

Here is a great video about the banana slug - please note, if you are sharing this with younger children, the host does talk about the sexual characteristics and habits of banana slugs (they are hermaphrodites).  It is a great video though, packed with loads of information in just over six minutes of footage:

Here is a very short video with subtitles and music, filmed in Sitka, Alaska:

This video is absolutely fascinating! It is super short (25 seconds), but shows a banana slug eating. Ok, eating isn't that interesting in and of itself, but have you ever seen a banana slug eating? THAT is interesting...

HERE is an online slug coloring page (fairly simple picture, but coloring online is fun!).

HERE is a cute, fruity snack to make after you finish learning about banana slugs!

HERE is a slug coloring page and info page...but, it is from a pay-for-membership website.  You can see the page, and even print it without being a member, but you will have adds and other stuff printed on your page as well.  Which means...I have to start drawing more so that I can add my own coloring pages to these posts! :)

Update: I sketched a banana slug coloring page! Click "download" to save a copy.  Please only print and use my coloring pages for your personal use.  Thank you!Banana slug

This next link is one to read/view with caution.  It is all about banana slug s....e....x!  But, it is specifically about sexual conflict among female and male banana slugs.  Lots of talk about banana slug genitals (with pictures! gasp!), and some interesting (and slightly disturbing) behavior on the part of a male banana slug regarding its own genitals (actually, this bit is gross....if you want to skip it, don't read past the picture of the slug with the quarter next to it).  HERE.

Loads more banana slug info HERE.


  1. They're so cute :D... in a slimy kind of way, lol. It's amazing that something so tiny can contribute so much to an ecosystem!

  2. I love the video of the slug eating. How cool is that?!?!

  3. What a fun unit study on banana slugs!

    I'm not on speaking terms with the slugs in my yard, though. They ate my marigolds which were supposed to keep the other bugs away! Naughty critters!

  4. Very interesting. My kids loved the videos and asked me to print out the coloring - they thought they were "eewwww slimey" :)