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Marine creature cooks up chemical defense from food

Sea hare turns algal pigment toxic to ward off crabs and other predators

By
4:40pm, June 4, 2010

One beastie’s pigment is another’s poison. The marine-dwelling sea hare converts pigment from its food into a chemical weapon, a new study shows.

It is the first description of an animal taking photosynthetic pigment from its diet and turning it into a molecule that can wield off would-be attackers, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Animal Behaviour.

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