April 23, 2021

This Cute Sea Sheep Eats Too Many Algae It Can Photosynthesize

Is this a sheep, or a cow, or a fluffy ball of happiness? Maybe all of it, but this creature has its specific name – it’s Costasiella kuroshimae (or ‘Leaf Sheep’ for short). This adorable little sea slug, whose dotty eyes and cute feelers make it look like a cartoon sea sheep, feeds on algae – just like the real thing!

Besides this,  this tiny cute animal can grow up to 5mm in length and can be found near Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are one of the only sea creatures in the world that can perform photosynthesis (the others all belong to the sacoglossa sea slug clade). When these weird animals eat algae, they suck out the chloroplasts and incorporate them into their own bodies in a process called kleptoplasty. This process, which otherwise can only be performed by single-celled organisms, essentially makes them solar-powered slugs!

More info: seaslugforum.net

This cute little sea sheep is a sea slug that loves to eat algae

Image credits: Jim Lynn

This cute little sea sheep is a sea slug that loves to eat algae

Image credits: Jim Lynn

These little nibblers have been found everywhere from Japan to Indonesia and the Philippines

Image credits: Randi Ang

Image credits: Johnny Chiu

Boo!

Image credits: Jim Lynn