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Crazy and Beautiful Creatures


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Jul 25, 2007
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"Sacoglossan sea slugs are the only metazoans known to perform functional kleptoplasty, the sequestration and retention of functional chloroplasts within their digestive gland cells. Remarkably, a few species with this ability can survive starvation periods of 3–12 months likely due to their stolen chloroplasts."*

So there's another challenge. After ingesting algae, young sea slugs like Elysia incorporate partially-digested photosynthetic cells which the sea slug can then draw energy from. Problem is, those chloroplasts are incorporated into the sea slug's gut ... which Elysia's now-severed head has just left behind :oops:


*Abstract, Chloroplast digestion and the development of functional kleptoplasty in juvenile Elysia timida (Risso, 1818) as compared to short-term and non-chloroplast-retaining sacoglossan slugs,
Laetz & Wägele, 11 Oct 2017

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