You may remember nudibranchs (NYOO-deh-branks), or “sea slugs,” from the California Academy of Sciences video we posted a while back. These shell-less, gender-less mollusks come in all shapes and colors, and there are over 3,000 known species (with more being added to the list all the time); one is making a huge splash (ahem) in social media circles.
The species, Jorunna parva, has been redubbed “sea bunnies,” and here’s why:
These little sea slugs (measuring only about 2 cm in length) have somehow adapted the same adorable appearance as the fluffiest of bunnies — and it’s functional, too!
The stems protruding from a sea bunny’s back that resemble ears and a tail are actually sensory organs called rhinophores, which nudibrachs use to evaluate chemical changes in the water around them.
Sea bunnies are typically found in the Western Indo-Pacific region, most notably off the coast of Japan (where the underwater Peeps first achieved their web renown).
Here’s a video of one of these oddly cute slugs in its natural habitat — pretty adorable, right?
Want to help protect the beautiful (and the not-so-pretty) slugs of the sea? Sign our petition that calls on government officials to prevent atmospheric carbon dioxide from soaking into our oceans.Whizzco