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


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What’s fascinating about the tiny ‘leaf sheep,’ which can grow up to 5mm in length and can be found near Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, is that they are one of the only animals in the world that can perform photosynthesis (the others all belong to the sacoglossa sea 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 organisms, essentially makes them solar-powered slugs!

If this cute little ‘leaf sheep’ has inspired you to see sea slugs in a new light, then check out this adorable ‘sea bunny’ sea slug to seal the deal!

More info: seaslugforum.net

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

Image credits: Jim Lynn

It is one of the only creatures in the world that can use algae to photosynthesize!

Image credits: Jim Lynn

These little nibblers have been found everywhere from Japan to Indonesia and the Philippines

Image credits: Randi Ang

Image credits: Johnny Chiu

Baaa!

Image credits: Lynn Wu