Self-Decapitating Sea Slug

Yes, you read the title of this blog correctly. There are actually two species of sea slugs that can (and DO) remove their own heads. This process of voluntarily shedding a body part is called autonomization. Other animals shed tails or limbs. But a head???

Perhaps a better way to explain this is that the slug sheds their body and the head moves along on its merry way. When the slug head leaves behind its body, it also leaves behind most internal organs, including the heart. A new heart regenerates in about a week and the whole body in about 20 days. The left-behind body does not grow a new head but can still move for over a month.

Researchers aren’t yet sure why these slugs do this, but one theory is that they shed their body when it is infected with parasites. That is one of the coolest, and strangest, adaptations out there! See the video and learn more here.