Nature

These Adorable Sea Slugs Look Like Sheep & Eat Algae To Photosynthesize

When you think of a slug, you think of the horrible, gooey things that leave trails across your garden patio – however, these guys are actually pretty cute. 

The tiny bugs, which almost look like a strange kind of flower with a tiny, white face, live underwater. Their proper name is Costasiella kuroshimae, but they’re also known as ‘leaf sheep’.

Unfortunately, you won’t find any of these washed up on Blackpool beach anytime soon, as they’re usually found near Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Stunning Sea Slugs Eat Algae To PhotosynthesizeJim Lynn Photography

Even if you were leaf sheep spotting in one of those places, they would be pretty hard to see as they only grow up to around 5mm long. Thankfully, underwater photographers Jim and Lynn shared some pretty stunning photos.

To add to their amazing-ness, Costasiella kuroshimae are the only sea animal that can photosynthesise the same way a plant on dry land would.

With a white head and black rhinophores, cerata green with reddish tips, it arguably looks like a sheep eating grass.

When they eat algae, they suck out the chloroplasts and incorporate them into their own bodies in a process called kleptoplasty.

Stunning Sea Slugs Eat Algae To PhotosynthesizeJim Lynn Photography

On the other end of the spectrum, there are creepy-looking fish like this one, reminding us the deep blue sea isn’t all just ‘leaf sheep’.

Roman Fedortsov spends a lot of his time on fishing trawlers, coming into contact with a wide variety of sealife. While he’s mainly tasked with more traditional, commercial fishing – catching fish such as cod, haddock and mackerel – he often comes across some pretty bizarre critters roaming in our waters.