Sea Butterflies

Limacina helicina and Clione limacina

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In the ocean, a drama is playing out between two marine mollusks: sea butterflies--tiny swimming snails the size of a grain of sand (also known as Pteropods)—and the larger sea angel that preys on them. But it’s another drama, one on a global scale, that concerns marine biologist Gareth Lawson and sculptor Cornelia Kavanagh: the changing chemistry of our warming oceans. The scientist and artist are collaborating to bring that story to a wider audience in the hope of rewriting the ending. Ari Daniel Shapiro reports from Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and New York City.

Photo Credit: Russ Hopcroft CC BY-NC 

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