Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sea Angel

Photograph courtesy Kevin Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College

A 2005 Census of Marine Life expedition to the Arctic Ocean captured a so-called sea angel, Clione limacina, at about 1,148 feet (350 meters) underwater. Despite its nickname, this little angel apparently doesn't mind showing a little skin: It's actually a naked snail without a shell, scientists said in December 2009.

Such marine snails—most of them the size of a lentil—are widely eaten by many species, making them the "potato chip" of the oceans, biologist Gretchen Hofmann, of the University of California, said in a 2008 statement.

Clione limacina was also among the hundreds of species found living at both Poles during the Census of Marine Life, startling scientists.


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