These adorable little creatures look like a farm animal, act like a plant, and live in the sea—but much about them still remains a mystery.
Leaf sheep: the cutest little solar-powered sea slug
Meet the Costasiella kuroshimae (or ‘Leaf Sheep’ for short). These adorable little sea slugs feeds on algae. What’s interesting about these tiny animals—which can grow up to 5mm in length and are found near Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines—is that they are one of the few sea creatures in the world that can perform photosynthesis. When these cute little creatures 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! Scroll down for photos and video of these delightful little animals— spotted on Facebook and UniGuide. — All photos courtesy of Randi Ang, whose work can be seen on Instagram and on Flickr.
Want more Leaf Sheep?
Here are a couple places where you can see some fun, if not so scientific, depictions of leaf sheep:
10 WAYS YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE OCEANS
Oceans cover 71% of the planet and are home to important species and ecosystems that we rely on for food, livelihoods, climate regulation and more. But the oceans need our help. Saving the oceans can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task, but if we all pitch in, we can make a big difference. Here are 10 lifestyle choices from Oceana.org that – when adopted – can help protect and restore our oceans for future generations.