I Didn’t Even Know These Animals Could Exist

Here on planet earth, we have a pretty diverse biosphere.  I’m always interested in learning about newly discovered animals.  But despite how new and unusual animals like a bat that resembles Yoda and neon pink millipedes are, I never would have thought they couldn’t exist.  Like that slug pictured above.  It’s unlike any other animal we’ve discovered on Earth because it practically sits in two taxonomic kingdoms.  That green hue isn’t just camouflage: it’s chlorophyll, the stuff that plants use to synthesize energy from sunlight.  Technically, baby slugs of the species must consume at least one meal of algae in order to carry out photosynthesis, but it’s still the closes I’ve heard to an animal/plant hybrid.  Read can read more about it here.

Speaking of hybrids, the above goat is also a one-of-a-kind mix.  Like all mammals, goats are normally warm-blooded creatures.  But warm-bloodedness requires quite a bit of energy to keep up with constant growth rates and this dwarf goat species found itself on a little island in the Mediterranean (see the map below). With little food to eat, the entire species had to either drastically alter its metabolism or face extinction.  And for a few thousand years, that worked. By aping reptiles’ ability to slow down metabolism until food was actually available, the goats could survive on the limited food supply.  Of course, this also meant they had small brains and moved sluggishly, making them very easy prey for the humans who eventually made their way to the island.

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