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Half Plant, Half Animal, Fully Real


Amazingly a creature has been found to be part animal and part plant after it adopted some genes from plants it consumes. Apparently it can even pass its ability to practice photosynthesis onto its offspring. Excitingly this sea slug can be found in New England.

The sea slugs live in salt marshes in New England and Canada. In addition to burglarizing the genes needed to make the green pigment chlorophyll, the slugs also steal tiny cell parts called chloroplasts, which they use to conduct photosynthesis. The chloroplasts use the chlorophyl to convert sunlight into energy, just as plants do, eliminating the need to eat food to gain energy.

“We collect them and we keep them in aquaria for months,” Pierce said. “As long as we shine a light on them for 12 hours a day, they can survive [without food].”

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