Autotomy, the voluntary shedding of a body part, is fairly widespread in the animal kingdom, and is generally followed by the regeneration of shed terminal body parts, but now, two japan researches have found a extrem case of autotomy in photosynthetic sea slugs.
Under lab conditions, two species of Elysia sea slugs - know by their capacity to use chloroplasts from algal food into their cells to utilise for photosynthesis- were infected with parasites, after that, sea slugs self-decapitated, suggesting they do it to get rid of parasites.
According to researchers, the head, separated from body and organs, moves on its own immediately after the separation (as the GIF shown). Within days, the wound at the back of the head is closed, while the head feeds on algaes. At the first week the head starte the body regeneration, and by the third week, regeneration is completed.
- Head and the body of Elysia cf. marginata, a day after autotomy. The shed body is much heavier (>80% of the total weight) than the head. Photo by Sayaka Mitoh.
Researchers Believe the slugs may use the photosynthetic ability of chloroplasts they incorporate from the algae in their diet, a proccess called kleptoplasty, to survive long enough for regeneration.
These findings in sea slugs represent a new type of autotomy in which animals with complex body plans shed most of their body.
Reference (Open Access): Mitoh and Yusa. 2021. Extreme autotomy and regeneration of the whole body in photosynthetic sea slugs. Current Biology.
Gif: Movement of Elysia cf. marginata after induced autotomy.
And well, my snake isn't the only one who got a bigger home.
Yesterday I bought a new fish tank for my crayfish, this is great because in addition to being bigger they gave me the led cover, so now I can put real plants (which I will not do because I know that the crayfish will make them pieces, unless I put floating plants)
Also, my mom gave me that big PVC tube, she said that my crayfish needed a bigger place to spend time and that she thought that she would like that because it has three exits, anyway, the crayfish liked it a lot too haha
I finally got a new cage for my mexican pine snake
she lived in a 10 gallon tank with a wooden lid and I got this cool Zilla reptile terrarium in my zone
Yes, I took the opportunity to add a vulture touch to the decoration with that chalky old domestic dog skull that one of the street dogs brought me a few months ago, I also included an oak branch that I got from the nearby forest and something natural litter with potting soil for the substrate
The cage is in excellent condition, it only has a broken closure tab but it doesn't really affect anything
Anyway, my snake seemed stunned to have so much space available when I first changed it, now it is a bit shy but I know it will adapt well
Everyone talks about bearded vultures like “they’re so cool and majestic!” And yeah that’s true but nobody ever acknowledges how fucking ridiculous they can be. Acknowledge that they are babey, you cowards. It’s real bearded vulture loving hours.