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#WeirdAnimalWednesday: The Sea Bunny is Taking Over Social Media

posted: 07/21/15
by: Danny Clemens
Sea Bunny
Crawl Ray via Flickr

The latest viral celebrity in Japan is an unexpected sensation: a sea slug. Nicknamed the "sea bunny", Jorunna parva's rabbit-like ears and fuzzy "fur" have captivated the hearts and minds of the Internet.

A video of the slug went recently went viral on YouTube. A diver from Japanese diving school Dive Store Exiles shot footage of J. parva near Kumomi, in southwestern Japan:

The inch-long creatures are found in the waters off of Japan and the Philippines. According to treehugger, the sea bunny's ear-like structures actually have nothing to do with hearing. Known as rhinophores, the sensory structures help the sea bunny detect chemicals in the water and navigate the sea floor.

Sea bunnies come in several colors, although some researchers believe that differently colored slugs could qualify as different species:

Yellow sea bunny
Crawl Ray via Flickr

The species was first described by marine biologist Kikutaro Baba in a 1938 edition of Japan's Journal of the Department of Agriculture.

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