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Longfin squid

Sentinel in the Sea

Often it's the smallest creatures that tell us about the largest climate issues. Summer Student Fellow Max Kaplan, visiting from St. Andrew's in Scotland, turned to the recently hatched longfin squid (Loligo pealeii) to examine the effects of ocean acidification on its development and early life. Working in T. Aran Mooney's lab, Kaplan found that the commercially important species might be hatching later and smaller when they are reared in high concentrations of carbon dioxide. In addition, the squid's statolith—a calcium carbonate structure used for hearing, sensing acceleration, direction and gravity—may not form as well in high carbon dioxide conditions, raising ecological and economic concerns if the ocean continues to acidify. (Photo by Max Kaplan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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