an animal that photosynthesizes

01 Feb

this is a delayed post, but i didnt have time to edit..

so you see, first, we have plants that dont photosynthesize.

now, we have animals that photosynthesize! is this cool or what!


apparently, there’s this particular sea slug, which eats algae. and for some reason, the photosynthetic genes in the algae dont get chemically digested. and the sea slug has been fully utilizing it.

the chloroplasts from the algae it eats gets stuck in the nooks of the intestines. for some of these kinds of sea slugs, once it has eaten one meal of algae and squeezed out its contents, all it needs to do it to soak in the sun. but what they need is not just the organelle. they also need the chlorophyll in needed to photosynthesize. for that, they need genes to continuously produce chlorophyll.

so scientists investigated, and found photosynthesis related genes in these slugs. and once in the genetic code, these genes get passed down to their offsprings. so even young sea slugs or unhatched sea slugs have been observed to have photosynthetic genes.

to investigate whether the green sea slugs actually produce chlorophyll, scientists left the green sea slug in dark for a few hrs, and found no signs of new radioactive chlorophyll. leaving the green sea slug in light for a few hrs on the other hand, shows signs of new radioactive chlorophyll…

thats cool isnt it!

1 Comment

Posted by on February 1, 2010 in i-Bio, i-Marvel


One response to “an animal that photosynthesizes

  1. Patti

    February 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Very cool! Awesome picture 🙂


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