Evolution is a pretty straightforward affair: If you can't stab through thick antelope pelt like you used to, you'll evolve sharper, bigger teeth or stronger jaws. If you keep getting eaten by giant-toothed predators, you'll evolve longer legs for greater speed. If you keep getting harassed by hawks, you'll evolve lanky, hawk-swatting arms. It's pretty much just an endless race of reach and teeth. But occasionally, evolution will reach way the hell out of the box and come back with solar-powered lizards and Iron Man snails ...
The Spotted Salamander Is Solar-Powered
Spotted salamanders are the first known vertebrates to effectively be solar-powered. They are living amphibians that get energy from photosynthesis, like plants. How is this possible? Well, scientists have long thought that algae had a symbiotic relationship with salamander larvae, giving them only the resources it didn't need (scientists refer to this as the "your s****y college roommate effect"). Research in recent years has proven that this is not the case, however: New studies have shown that salamanders actually have algae all up in their very cells. Aside from being very, very gross, this trait helps the spotted salamander put a new, very literal meaning behind green energy.
"Here comes the sun, doot-'n'-doo-doo ..."