We all know lizards that cut their tails to escape from enemies. This reaction, which occurs naturally in some animals, is called an autotomy. The new findings show that this is a natural reaction not only to lizards but also to some other species. Some species of sea slugs have been found to be able to stay afloat for weeks, even if their heads are cut off. The discovery was made by researchers in Japan. A report published in the journal Biology called the ‘Wonder of Nature’ marked the natural ability of some sea slugs.
Sayaka Mito, a biology researcher, says that “Japanese sea slugs are small, very beautiful, and strange, so I love learning about them”. One day they happened to see a very strange incident in his lab. A sea slug cuts off his own head. Even though it was separated, its head kept moving. Following this incident, Yoichi Yusa, a professor of ecology, set out on an experiment. The heads of 16 sea slugs were cut off. Six creatures began to regenerate. Three were successful and survived. They recovered their own bodies.
Sea slug is the latest example of an autotomy. Some creatures can amputate their tails or legs. Sea slugs can grow up to 6 inches in length. The heart is needed to deliver blood and nutrients to the brain. Scientists have found that they cannot survive without it. Because they eat special algae, they, like plants, can synthesize photosynthesis from sunlight and oxygen for up to ten days. The severed head acts like a plant. They receive energy from sunlight and oxygen. Scientists say that humans may be able to learn something useful from sea creatures.