Sea Slug that Decapitates Itself and Keeps Living

A+sea+slug%E2%80%99s+head+moves+around+three+days+after+the+invertebrate+decapitated+itself+from+its+body.+The+body%2C+still+alive%2C+reacts+slightly+when+touched+by+the+head.+

Sayaka Mitoh

A sea slug’s head moves around three days after the invertebrate decapitated itself from its body. The body, still alive, reacts slightly when touched by the head.

Kamaya Campbell, Staff Writer

A few years ago, Ms. Sayaka Mitoh of the Naro Women’s University in Japan, discovered that the sea slug, Elysia marginatadecapitated itself and still lived.   

Scientists do not know why the sea slug does this, but they have learned that the head will grow a new body. The old body will live on for a few months before it dies. The new body can grow a new heart in one week and a new body takes about 20 days to fully regenerate.