A leaf sheep, is, in my opinion, one of the weirdest animals in the animal kingdom. They can even perform photosynthesis and turn sunlight into food! The leaf sheep is a type of sea slug and is around 5mm long. It is found off the coast of several islands in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Its cute beady eyes and “leaves” make it almost irresistible. It also resembles a white sheep.
Solar Powered Slugs
Leaf Sheep can “graze” on algae and suck out the chloroplasts (a substance that performs photosynthesis for the plant). It incorporates these chloroplasts into its own body in a process known as Kleptoplasty. Kleptoplasty comes from the Greek word “Klepto,” which means to steal. Once incorporated, the Leaf Sheep starts making its own food using sunlight from the ingested chloroplasts, just like the algae it ate. Leaf Sheep are the only multicellular animals that can do this and are referred to as “Solar Powered Slugs.”
- What is your favorite WEIRD animal?
- Have you heard of the Leaf Sheep before?
- What if humans could make their own food from the sun?
- Have you ever seen one?
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