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pteropods matin

Amorous Angels

Two shell-less marine snails, captured with a plankton net, mate in a glass dish. These half-inch-long animals are swimming snails called pteropods that live in open ocean waters. This species, Clione limacina, are hermaphrodites—individuals have both male and female organs and can mate with any other member of their species—a useful trait when looking for a mate in the vast ocean. These were collected on an NSF-funded cruise in the Pacific Ocean led by WHOI scientist Gareth Lawson. This image is part of the 2013 WHOI calendar, available at the WHOI store. (Photo by Leo Bianco-Bercial, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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