Thursday, January 14, 2010

Animals That Photosynthesize?

We all were taught that only plants have chlorophyll and get their energy from the sun by photosynthesis.  Right?  Now wrong!

A green sea slug living in the salt marshes of New England and Canada apparently have stolen the genes of algae they have eaten.  They are the only know multicellular animal capable of producing chlorophyll.  Consequently, they are able to survive months with just sunlight alone.  They can even pass on this gene to their offspring, although the kids have to algae to get enough chloroplasts to start photosynthesis on their own.  The story is at this Live Science link.

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