Adorable sea slugs love eating algae so much they are basically solar-powered like plants

January 13th, 2020

Oh, look! It’s a cute drawing, maybe an inspiration for a new Pokémon? Or is it an amazing 3D graphic?

All wrong! This cutie is real. Yup, you’ve read it correctly. It’s alive and as real as it gets. Meet the adorable, cute, and beautiful Costasiella kuroshimae. We can just refer to it as the “leaf sheep”, “Shaun the sheep”, or simply the cutest sea slug ever!

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alif_abdulrahman via wikipedia Source: alif_abdulrahman via wikipedia

We may have seen so many discoveries about life under the ocean. Until now, we are not yet sure of the wonders that the ocean holds. So many left unexplored and whenever we are able to find new specie, we become eager to study about it. To get to know it more and to appreciate how it lives.

Just like this beautiful green sea slug called the “leaf sheep.”

It’s a species of sacoglossan sea slug which is a shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusk and is a member of the family Costasiellidae. Before we get confused with all these terms, let’s just appreciate how beautiful this creature it.

Can’t even stop staring at it – it’s too cute!

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Allen Woo via Flickr Source: Allen Woo via Flickr

Cuteness overload!

You may think that this creature is straight from a cartoon sheep character but it’s not. Though, who can blame us? Look at those cute little eyes?

An amazing phosphorescent, leaf-like body, those adorable ears, and did we mention it also has those pink cheeks? Oh, we just can’t get enough of this adorable sea slug! In fact, it may just be the prettiest slug in the entire ocean! Who agrees?

Look at these photos and you would even think it knows how to strike a pose for the camera!

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DiveGuideinBali Source: DiveGuideinBali

The amazing Costasiella Kuroshimae

The Costasiella Kuroshimae can actually grow up to 5mm in length. It can be found near Indonesia, Japan, and even in the Philippines!

What is amazing about this beautiful creature is that they belong to one of the only sea creatures in the world that can actually perform photosynthesis!

So, that is the reason why they look like that! Now, that’s awesome!

Though, the question here is how do they do that?

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DiveGuideinBali Source: DiveGuideinBali

When one of these fascinating animals eats algae, they also suck out the chloroplasts in the algae. This means that they are able to incorporate them into their own bodies and in their system. This process is called kleptoplasty.

Amazing and cute creatures! We love them even more!

Depending on their diet and the algae from where they are found, there may be a slight difference from their looks. Some have a longer and browner band, some shorter. Some leaf sheep actually have some brown spots and some have pink tips, some cream in color.

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Jun V Lao via Wikipedia Source: Jun V Lao via Wikipedia

No matter the variation, no matter what new information can come out from their studies, this beautiful sea creature has already captured our hearts. They’re amazing, fascinating, adorable, and most of all, we must do our best to keep our oceans clean.

This way, these beautiful creatures will have all the algae that they will need to flourish!

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Source: SeaSlug Forum, Charismatic Planet, Wikipedia