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Images: Are Pollutants Disrupting Marine Ecosystems?

Chemicals, especially pesticides, may be causing unexpected and unintentional harm to many invertebrate species that play essential roles in marine ecosystems and food webs, says WHOI biologist Tim Verslycke. (Courtesy of Tim Verslycke, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Small crustaceans called mysids, shown here swarming in the ocean, could act as canaries in a coal mine to indicate when marine environments are being exposed to chemicals that could affect other invertebrates as well, says Tim Verslycke. Adult mysids are between 10 to 30 millimeters long. (Photo courtesy of Tim Verslycke, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Verslycke began his research on hormonal disruption in invertebrates on Neomysis integer, a species of mysid common in European estuaries, which could also be used to test the susceptibility of invertebrates to potentially harmful chemicals. (Photo courtesy of Tim Verslycke, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)