Sat 22 Apr, 2017 01:18 pm
Would it be possible for a tiny animal to subsist strictly from chloroplasts in its body? I'm talking about a cold blooded animal such as a tiny and non-motile insect like a scale insect. If it were tiny and very thin it wouldn't have that many cells and being non-motile wouldn't use a lot of energy. Of course being cold-blooded it would also get heat from the environment.
I know it has happened in the protists, Euglena for example and it happened in the corals to a certain extent. The reef-forming corals have mutualistic zooantheae in their tissues which are photosynthetic, but is it possible for a terrestrial animal to subsist totally through photosynthesis?
If it is possible then why hasn't it happened? Or is it possible that it has happened and then went extinct?
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that since animals tend to move around, their power requirements are likely to be greater than what photosynthesis can provide. Movement gives animals the chance at more food than a plant does, but it also requires more energy to search for and obtain that food.