Planktonic sea snails and slugs may be more adaptable to ocean acidification than expected

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IMAGE: Pteropods are split into two major groups: shelled sea butterflies (left) and sea angels (right) that lose their shell when they reach adulthood. These creatures have adapted from a life…
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Credit: Photos courtesy of Katja Peijnenburg and Erica Goetze

Pteropods, or “wing-footed” sea snails and slugs, may be more resilient to acidic oceans than previously thought, scientists report.

By digging into their evolutionary history, the research team found that pteropods are much older than expected and survived past crises when the oceans became warmer and more acidic.

Their findings, published on the 24th September 2020 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), are a surprising turn of events, as these beautiful and enigmatic marine creatures are currently one of the most adversely affected by ocean acidification.

“Pteropods have been infamously called the “canaries in a coal mine” –

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