A few years ago, there was a small and intriguing creature trending on social media platforms. Despite being cute and looking like the perfect replacement for your late hamster, the sea bunny is not an animal that most of us can keep at home. As a matter of fact, it might even be dangerous!
A bunny under the sea
A bunny from the sea, who would have known it actually existed? These particular creatures are in fact sea slugs, which belong to a group of mollusks (called the gastropods, part of the Discodorididae family) like sea snails for example. To summarize, these animals don’t have hard shells on them, they are as soft as jello and come in different colors. That said, their most common color is white with black little dots.
Moreover, these funny-looking sea creatures have cute pointy little ears, and as you may have guessed already, that’s the reason why people started calling them sea bunnies. Finally, the real scientific name for the sea bunny is actually Jorunna Parva, but it doesn’t sound as good as the sea bunny.
What are sea slugs?
Sea slugs are marine animals that are shell-less, they include sea hares, nudibranchs, and of course, sea bunnies. Most sea slugs are toxic and cannot be eaten or played with. If you are wondering what do they eat, here’s a small list of their main foods:
Sometimes, sea slugs will even eat each other for survival. Pretty intense for such a cute animal, isn’t it?
Is there a difference between mollusk and mollusc?
When talking about the sea bunnies, it is inevitable that we are going to mention the word mollusk. However, there are some people who write mollusc with the letter C, which is commonly used around the world. But, for some reason in North America, people write this word with the letter K at the end (mollusk). Just remember that both of these words mean exactly the same thing, they are just different variations of the same thing.
Why I can’t find a sea bunny at my local pet shop?
Sea bunnies are not like your typical redfish, as their life is a very short-lived one. That’s right, don’t expect to get one as a pet because a sea bunny can only live up to 1 year at most. Also, most of them are poisonous and toxic, with little stingers all around them. If you get stung by a sea bunny, your life could be in danger!
Where do the sea bunnies live?
Another reason why it is quite difficult to get one of those is that they are quite exotic. They mostly live in warm countries and are hard to catch. Furthermore, you can find sea bunnies in Indonesia, in the Philippines, and in some African countries, as they are generally adventuring the deep marine ecosystems of the Pacific Ocean. Finally, you can find them at pretty much any depth, in bedrocks, between coral reefs. They need a lot of surrounding objects to be able to understand in which direction they are going, as they are totally blind.
How does a sea bunny reproduce?
A strange particularity of the sea bunny is its ability to generate sperm and eggs at the same time. That’s due to the fact that sea bunnies are hermaphrodites, but the weirdness of the sea bunny doesn’t just stop there! As a matter of fact, these little fellas still need to mate with a partner in order to fertilize the eggs. And here’s the kicker, some sea bunnies will even cut the penis of their partner to prevent the latter from mating with other sea bunnies! That being said, don’t worry, the penis of a sea bunny can grow back within 24 hours.
Can I get a pet Sea Bunny?
As explained earlier, we strongly advise to not get in touch with a sea bunny. Their short lifespan and their stingy little poisonous bodies are not something you want near your kids. Yes, they are very cute, but that’s about the only thing they have going for them. Moreover, it doesn’t help that they only live for less than 1 year. That would be heartbreaking quite fast, wouldn’t it?
Can I get poisoned by a Sea Bunny?
You can’t touch a sea bunny, unfortunately. You could, however, with a special pair of gloves, hold them in your hands. The sea slugs get their defenses up with the food they eat. That way, they produce a lot of toxins through their stingers, which will prevent other marine creatures to eat them for breakfast.
Can a sea bunny see?
No, since they don’t have any eyes nor any visual system, they can’t see anything. To navigate the deep sea, they use their ears and little stingers around their whole body like a radar. Moreover, their tail is where the gills are located, allowing them to breathe underwater.
What colors are sea bunnies?
There are so many colors because there are close to 3000 different species of sea bunnies, some of them are not even known well-known yet. As stated before, the most common sea bunny is white with black dots. The second most common color is yellow, but you can also find sea bunnies that are green, purple, or brown.
However, for many years there have been debates around the fact that whether the different colors represent different see rabbit species. These creatures are such an unknown among the scientific community, with their outstanding features and rarity, it’s no wonder that so many people are fascinated by them.
The sea bunnies are not only special in their looks, but they are also difficult to find. They can actually live at any depth level, but the easiest ones to catch are often found in shallow areas in some rock pools.
We hope this complete guide on the sea bunnies answered most of your questions on this cute and bizarre animal. It is unfortunate that we can’t pet them, but at least we can still appreciate their beauty from afar.