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snail shell

Golden Snail, Counted in the Census

This tiny (1mm) larval snail with a swirled, sculpted shell was collected in 2005 from a hydrothermal vent site 2500 meters deep, where adults of its species reach 7 cm. The ChEss (Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems) research project, co-chaired by WHOI scientist Chris German, aims to understand the distribution of vent species, and enabled WHOI researchers Susan Mills and Stace Beaulieu to create and print a guide to vent larvae. ChEss is part of the Census of Marine Life (CoML), a ten-year global program initiated by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation trying to answer the question, “What lives in the sea?” The final CoML report was released October 4, 2010.


(Image courtesy of Stace Beaulieu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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