Using Giant Snails to Understand Past Atmospheric Carbon – #365papers – 2017 – 130

#365papers for May 10, 2017

Macario, Alves, Carvalho, Oliveira, Ramsey, Chivall, Souza, Simone and Cavallari, 2016, The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir: Nature Scientific Reports, v. 6, 27395.

What’s it about?

Snails. It turns out that snails record evidence of their environment in their shells. The authors here show how shells from these two giant snails can be used to examine the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Why does it matter?

There is global concern about rapid increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and its relationship to climate change. These snails can be used to track the changes over time.

Why did I read this?

I’ve been working with specimens of Megalobulimus for an unrelated reason, trying to understand local environmental parameters affecting the snails in life. This paper helps me understand better how the shells of these snails form.

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