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Sea Sheep? This Adorable Sea Slug Eats So Much Algae It Can Photosynthesize

It’s a sheep! It’s a cow! No, it’s Costasiella kuroshimae( or’ Leaf Sheep’ for short ). This adorable little sea bullet, whose beady eyes and cute feelers make it look like a cartoon sheep, feeds on algae- just like the real thing!

What’s fascinating about the tiny’ leaf sheep, ’ which can grow up to 5mm in duration and can be found near Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, is that they are one of the only animals in the world that they were able perform photosynthesis( the others all belong to the sacoglossa ocean slug clade ). When they 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 creatures, basically makes them solar-powered slugs!

If this cute little’ foliage sheep’ has inspired you to see sea bullets in a new daylight, then check out this adorable’ sea bunny’ sea slug to seal the deal!

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

Image credits: Lynn Wu