Monday, May 12, 2014

Pteropod Acidification

Two weeks ago a study was released showing how the acidification of the ocean has begun to effect some of the small ocean creatures. This made me very angry and sad so I made some art to reflect that.

Limacina Helicina is a small sea snail pteropod which measures about half an inch long. These sea snails live in their fragile translucent shell and feed by means of celia and mucous. 
Due to carbon pollution these tiny creatures are struggling to build and maintain their glass like shells. Acidification from human pollution and Co2 emissions is dissolving and etching the shells putting these fragile and essential organisms in danger of extinction. 
Severe shell damage has been found on over half of the organisms studied thus far. Shell damage effects the animals capacity to swim and their ability to avoid predators. 
Salmon and other fish feed on Limacina Helicina as well as some seabirds. This disruption in the food chain could have many unforeseen results.

Clione Limacina is often called a sea butterfly and primarily functions as whale food. These shell less pteropods swim to the surface to breathe using their fin like 'wings' on either side of their membranous body. They have 6 fully retractable tentacles on their head used to pull food into their small mouth opening. Although Clione Limacina does not suffer from the dissolving shell issue we do not yet know the effects that ocean acidification will have on them. Sea butterflies make up a large portion of plankton ingested by larger mammals and fish and are essential to the ocean food chain. 

If we do not change our ways, as a species we will destroy the ecosystem that gave birth to us. 
carbon emissions, plastic pollution, oil spills and other enviromental disasters are destroying the oceans; the birth place of life. 
Corporations and governments have put monetary concerns ahead of preserving the earth for decades and we are now beginning to see the negative effects our industrialized world is having on our planet!
Clean technology should be the goal of this generation because if we don't do something now there will be no future generations!

 These three paintings are for sale in my Etsy shop!

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