BY JAMES GORMAN
A coral reef can be a scary place. There are predators like the marbled cone snail, with its deadly darts. They can make other snails jumpy. Literally.
The humpback conch is one of them. It also known as a jumping snail. And one of the things that make it jump is the smell of a nearby predator. That sensitivity is very useful for researchers who are studying how the snail responds to warmer temperatures and more acidic seawater.
That’s important, according to Sjannie Lefevre, who studies snail physiology at the University of Oslo, because such conditions are predicted as a result of climate change. Scientists expect damage to reefs, but not much is known about how snails and their relatives may respond.
Read more in the New York Times.
Photo via rvcroffi/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)