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Sharp-eyed Snails

Sharp-eyed Snails

January 2, 2013

Planktonic snails called atlantid heteropods live in the open ocean far from the surface, the sea floor, and the shore. Their transparent shells reveal red V-shaped ovaries in one animal and pink eggs in others. These dime-sized predators have large, black eyes that give them very good vision for hunting prey in the dark ocean depths. Biologists Gareth Lawson and Amy Maas study these planktonic creatures to assess their sensitivity to increasing ocean acidification that can corrode shells. This image is in the 2013 WHOI calendar, available at the WHOI store and at the Ocean Science Exhibit Center.(Photo by Amy Maas, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)