Is this the sheep of the sea?

By Kate Hassett

This amazing 'leaf sheep' is one of the only animals able to perform photosynthesis.

This amazing creature is a Costasiella Kuroshimae or ‘Leaf Sheep’. Part of the sea slug family, this sea sheep feeds off the algae found on other creatures and the ocean floor.

Unlike other sea animas, the leaf sheep is one of the only animals in the world that can perform photosynthesis. At up to 5mm in length, the rare breed can be found of the coast of Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Their luminescent green appearance comes from their consumption of algae and the process whereby they remove the chloroplasts from their food and integrate them into their own body – a process called kleptoplasty.

This process is usually reserved for single-celled organisms, which is why these little guys are so special.

leaf-sheep-sea-slug-costasiella-kuroshimae-2

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

BECOME A MiNDFOOD SUBSCRIBER TODAY

Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.