The ‘sheep’ which can photosynthesise


Much like its herbivorous namesake, the ocean-dwelling “leaf sheep” grazes for food; however, it supplements its diet in a unique way: through the power of the sun. “The first time I saw Shaun the Sheep in Romblon [in the Philippines], I was surprised by how tiny it was,” said Ara Juan, an avid diver and ocean advocate. “The second time in Dauin, [in the province of] Negros Oriental, was more exciting – I saw five of them perched on a leaf, so it looked like they were grazing on a field of algae.” “Shaun the Sheep” is what many divers in the Philippines affectionately call a curious sea creature known as the leaf sheep (Costasiella kuroshimae) due to its similarity to the animated lamb. Contrary to what its name suggests, the leaf sheep is neither leaf nor sheep – it’s a sea slug.

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