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Adorable Sea Sheep

Adorable Sea Sheep, or Leaf Sheep – Sea Slug Costasiella Kuroshimae

Adorable Sea Sheep, or Leaf Sheep – Sea Slug Costasiella Kuroshimae

Adorable Sea Sheep
Have a look at this interesting sea dweller – Slug Costasiella Kuroshimae, reminiscent of a cartoon sheep, or even an anime cow, according to opinions of some people. The mysterious sea creature is found in South East Asia at a depth of 10 meters. It feeds on marine plants. The length of tiny creature is 1 cm, but it can grow up to 5mm. Costasiella kuroshimae is a species of sacoglossan sea slug, a shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusk in the family Costasiellidae. The type locality is Japanese Kuroshima, Taketomi, Okinawa, as well as near Indonesia and the Philippines Islands. The Leaf sheep is one of the rare animals that can perform photosynthesis. 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 organisms, essentially makes them solar-powered slugs.

Adorable Sea Sheep

Adorable Sea Sheep

Costasiella kuroshimae is a species of sacoglossan sea slug, a shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusk in the family Costasiellidae. For scientists, Costasiella kuroshimae – first known animal that can, like plants, carry out the process of photosynthesis. It has no its own chloroplasts, so for photosynthesis it uses chloroplasts of seaweed Vaucheria litorea, which it eats. It pierces the cell membrane of algae and sucks their radula content. Digested almost everything, but leaves intact chloroplasts of algae, assimilating them into their own cells. A slug genome encodes several proteins required for photosynthesis chloroplasts.

At first the young slugs feed on algae continuously, but eventually chloroplasts accumulate, allowing the slugs to be green without eating algae Vaucheria litorea. Moreover, the process of photosynthesis is activated, and slug proceeds to solar energy. If shellfish is a long time in the dark, the chloroplasts are killed and it once again becomes a sea vegetarian, replenishing stocks of chloroplasts.

Adorable Sea Sheep

Images are print screened from www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl_qDsEuF0s”