7 Facts About The Sea Bunny

  1. The species was first named by a Japanese scientist named Kikutaro Baba in 1934. In total, Baba described 116 and has 14 specie’s taxa names after him.

2. The sea Bunny is actually a species of sea slug – more specifically it is a Nudibranch. As other Nudibranchs also do, the Sea Bunny has rhinophores on its head which look like bunny ears. These rhinophores are sensory organs that help the Sea Bunny sense it’s surroundings. It also helps them to identify their mates and find food by its ability to sense different types of chemicals.

Steve Childs from Lancaster, UK, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. The “fur” is actually a group of small rods called caryophyllidia. These rods are tiny needle-like structures called spicules. They are thought to be sensory organs like the rhinophores.

4. At the base of the rhinophores are the location of the eyes.

5. They eat sea sponges that contain a toxin called mycalolide B. This toxin is actually used in cancer treatments since it limits the cancer cells ability to spread.

6. The Sea Bunny is a hermaphrodite but it still needs another Sea Bunny in order to reproduce. So for example, if Sea Bunny A produces eggs, it needs another Sea Bunny to fertilize them.

If Sea Bunny B does not produce eggs, then it needs another Sea Bunny’s eggs to fertilize. The opportunity to reproduce does not always happen very often due to its short lifespan. This is likely why they have both reproductive capabilities.

7. The life expectancy of a Sea Bunny ranges from a couple of months to a year.

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