Sea bunnies

QUICK FACTS:

Lifespan: A few months to a year.

Group: Nudibranch (sea slugs)

Found: In places like the Philippines, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Australia

Colors: Usually yellow or orange although the white bunny-like ones have gotten a lot of the media attention

Size: Less than 1 inch (2.54 cm)

These miniature, furry friends hippity-hopping around the ocean (and the internet) are not bunnies — they’re actually slugs! Still think they’re cute? We do!

Sorry, no hugs please! Sea bunnies are so small one will fit on your fingertip. Predators stay away from these little slugs because they’re very toxic. They cleverly absorb toxins from the creatures they feed on, like toxic sponges. They can also steal the stingers out of jellyfish and use them against predators. You don’t want to mess with these tiny bunny lookalikes!

What sea bunnies don’t have:

Bunny ears — Those appendages actually help the slugs identify chemicals in the water that allow them to find food and reproduce.

A fur coat — Those are small rods covering their backs arranged around small black knobs that give it a speckled look. Scientists believe this “fur” helps them “sniff” what’s going on in the water around them.

A fluffy “cottontail” — That fluff at its rear is actually its gills.

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