Banana slugs are slow. Like, ridiculously slow. Watching them eat is tantamount to watching paint dry, which is why Canadian photographer R. Jeanette Martin wisely set her phone to record in timelapse mode when she encountered a particularly hungry mollusk in her garden.
You do not become a forest-floor-creeping mollusk on good looks alone; to crawl effectively, you need something with which to lubricate your wriggling, slimy, slithering self. Mucus, secreted in abundance from your entire body, is just the ticket. But slug slime is good for a lot more than whole-body lubrication.
A penis would rank pretty high on any list of body parts you'd want to be able to grow back if lost. The more replacement penises the better. And for the first time, Japanese biologists have found an animal that can do just that.
Sea slugs are weird. But their sexual habits are even weirder. Take Chromodoris reticulata for example. It's a "simultaneous hermaphrodite," meaning it has both male and female sexual organs which it uses at the same time when mating (making it the envy of the animal kingdom). Even stranger, however, is how its penis…
When we think of futuristic robots, impeccably shiny metal chassis, gleeful tinny voices, and other anthropomorphic accoutrements come to mind.
Researchers at Chuo University's Nakamura Lab are experimenting with Toro II, a robot that emulates the wave-like movements of gastropods. When moving, this omnidirectional robot keeps every segment of its body on the ground, affording it enhanced stability.
What makes this slug so ninja-like? Because these slimy fellers shoot chalky "love darts" at potential mates which pierce and inject the proper hormones to make them hot and horny. Hmm..maybe it should be called the Roofie Slug, instead?
A kleptoplast is an organism that steals genes from other organisms, usually by eating them. Usually those stolen genes don't actually function, but not so in the case of the leafy green E. chlorotica sea slug. This little guy uses plant genes to generate its own photosynthesis factory - after eating its favorite…