Science Interviews


Sun, 10th Jun 2012

Critter of the month - Bubble snail

Miriam Goldstein, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Ocean aliens - the problem of marine species in the wrong place

Janthina bubble snail


Miriam – My name is Miriam Goldstein. I’m a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego. For my research I work in the middle of the North Pacific, in the area called the North Pacific sub tropical gyre and I work on the surface of the ocean. And on the surface of the ocean lives what Sir Alistair Hardy called the Blue Fleet. There are all these animals that have made a living right at the very surface where the UV light is very strong so they’re all blue and purple. And they’re really wonderful creatures.

And of all those wonderful creatures one of my favourites is the bubble snail Janthina. And this is a little snail that has a lavender shell and it actually makes its living upside down on the surface on the water floating around on a raft of bubbles.

So it just drift along, it makes its own little raft, sort of just going with the wind with these other animals that live in this fleet feeding on the tentacles of jellyfish. That’s what it does – it just drifts along. I always thought that sounded like a really nice life just rafting a long, just a little bit under the ocean, nibbling and having a good time for a snail.

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Miriam Goldstein



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