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Impossible Plant-Animal Hybrid
Dark Roasted Blend ^ | April 24, 2012 | Avi Abrams

Posted on 04/27/2012 6:39:13 PM PDT by Windflier

Wildly bizarre half-plant/half-animal creature - with a lovely name "Eastern Emerald Elysia"

This beautiful leaf-shaped sea slug Elysia chlorotica lives in shallow pools along Atlantic coast of North America, eats algae with gusto - one meal is enough for its lifetime! - and by using photosynthesis like any other plant, shatters the most basic definition between the "animal" and "plant" kingdoms.


It may not be "easy being green", but for this slug it turned out to be highly efficient!

This is the ONLY natural example of genes shared between the living kingdoms of "plants" and "animals"

Shaped like a leaf? Check. Totally colored green? Check, although the young slugs are still colored brown until they eat their first "green" meal... but right after that, they're ready to make pigment chlorophyll a all by themselves for the rest of their lives!

One thing about Elysia chlorotica, "a sea slug that has stolen enough genes to become the first animal shown to make chlorophyll like a plant" (via)... They don't just use chloroplasts from the algae they eat - this phenomenon, though rare, is known as kleptoplasty. What's more, they seem to have the particular genes that make them able to keep processing these chloroplasts in a consistent and sustainable way:

Elysia chlorotica likes to inhabit "salt marshes, tidal marshes, pools and shallow creeks, at depths of 0 m to 0.5 m".

(Excerpt) Read more at darkroastedblend.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Outdoors; Science
KEYWORDS: strange
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To: Wilhelm Tell

It is amazing and I was just about to google the large red sea slug that swims so angelicly to see if they also photosynthesize.


21 posted on 04/27/2012 7:31:25 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: Windflier
Flower and scary something hybrid.
22 posted on 04/27/2012 7:32:11 PM PDT by bgill
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To: bgill

... shivers ....


23 posted on 04/27/2012 7:34:26 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier; cripplecreek

Thanks for posting. Very interesting, but cripplecreek hints at the situation. Symbiotic relationships are far from unknown in the natural world. For example, lichens aren’t organisms in the typical sense, but are a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an alga (or less frequently a cyanobacterium).

Lots of neat things out there.


24 posted on 04/27/2012 7:34:26 PM PDT by Engraved-on-His-hands (Mitt Romney is a handbasket driver. I refuse to ride.)
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To: Engraved-on-His-hands
Lots of neat things out there.

Too true. We live in a most remarkable universe.

25 posted on 04/27/2012 7:35:36 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Engraved-on-His-hands
Lots of neat things out there.

Yup, science is cool.
26 posted on 04/27/2012 7:38:30 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Windflier; TomServo; Krankor

Reminds me of an MST3K episode from way back when.
“Is it a plant or an animal?”
“Uhhh. Planimal,”


27 posted on 04/27/2012 7:42:53 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Look for the union label, then buy elsewhere.)
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To: RandallFlagg

LOL!


28 posted on 04/27/2012 7:49:23 PM PDT by Krankor
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To: Windflier; mickie
Someday in the near future, these Elysia Chloroticas along with Algae Obamaphytas will provide the mighty fuel to power space ships to Mars and to the colonies of the Moon.

Leni

29 posted on 04/27/2012 8:16:33 PM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: Windflier

Well said.


30 posted on 04/27/2012 8:35:49 PM PDT by Chaguito
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To: Windflier

Much appreciated, Windflier!


31 posted on 04/28/2012 6:21:56 AM PDT by SuzyQue
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To: Windflier
Must not be many Farscape fans on FR. I'd have expected a Zhaan joke by now, lol.
32 posted on 04/28/2012 6:31:12 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: MinuteGal

Funny or not, that’s poetic.


33 posted on 04/28/2012 7:23:55 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Engraved-on-His-hands

Not exactly symbiotic. The slug eats algae, but, instead of digesting them whole, it keeps the chloroplasts for its own use. Now, an animal usually lacks the physiology to keep chloroplasts working. So, this critter keeps also the chloroplast maintenance genes. Weird stuff.


34 posted on 04/28/2012 6:56:50 PM PDT by Moose Burger
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