Living Green!

– – Part plant and part animal, a sea slug found living in salt marshes in New England and Canada called Elysia chlorotica is the first multicellular animal found to be able to produce the plant pigment chlorophyll.   The critters can actually survive without food if a light is shined on them for twelve hours a day.- -Now that’s walkin’ on sunshine!

The slugs appear to acquire this ability by stealing genes from algae that they’ve eaten, stealing also minute cell parts called chloroplasts which enable conversion of sunlight into energy.

The slug has been studied for about twenty years, although scientists are not yet sure how the animals appropriate the genes that they need.  This is yet another example of how invertebrates can do some pretty amazing things…well, let’s see you live without food!    😉


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Explore posts in the same categories: animals, cool things, Invertebrates, science

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2 Comments on “Living Green!”

  1. carycomic Says:

    But, I wonder if that quality would be passed _up_ the food chain (to the predators that eat the sea slugs, and so on, and so forth)?

    Here that, Syfy Channel! How about a Saturday night sea monster-movie based on this?


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