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The Internet Is Going Crazy Over These Amazingly Adorable Sea Creatures

You may remember nudibranchs (NYOO-deh-branks), or “sea slugs,” from the California Academy of Sciences video we posted a while back. These shell-less, gender-less mollusks come in all shapes and colors, and there are over 3,000 known species (with more being added to the list all the time); one is making a huge splash (ahem) in social media circles.

The species, Jorunna parva, has been redubbed “sea bunnies,” and here’s why:

Photo courtesy Ilan Lubitz via Facebook

Photo courtesy Ilan Lubitz via Facebook

These little sea slugs (measuring only about 2 cm in length) have somehow adapted the same adorable appearance as the fluffiest of bunnies — and it’s functional, too!

The stems protruding from a sea bunny’s back that resemble ears and a tail are actually sensory organs called rhinophores, which nudibrachs use to evaluate chemical changes in the water around them.

Photo courtesy of Yukari Sato via Sea Slug Forum

Photo courtesy of Yukari Sato via Sea Slug Forum

Sea bunnies are typically found in the Western Indo-Pacific region, most notably off the coast of Japan (where the underwater Peeps first achieved their web renown).

Here’s a video of one of these oddly cute slugs in its natural habitat — pretty adorable, right?

Want to help protect the beautiful (and the not-so-pretty) slugs of the sea? Sign our petition that calls on government officials to prevent atmospheric carbon dioxide from soaking into our oceans.

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