First to be affected by ocean acidification?

Hello everyone. I am Sea butterfly (a type of Pteropod, meaning ‘winged foot’ in Latin) and I am just getting into telling my story of relationship to the natural world. Crazy to be doing this when I know full well that I am part of nature. I am part of the ocean where all life on earth began. So why tell my story? What might I learn?

Animation inspired and informed in 2007 by Antarctic scientist and artist
Karin Beaumont.
Animation: Lisa Roberts, Sound: Jack Colwell

For one thing most people don’t know me and their relationship to me. Mostly people know me only as a species separate from themselves; they know me as a specimen for scientific study. Most people have forgotten who and why they are. Although they have big brains most people behave like sheep and don’t think for themselves what their purpose is. They’ve forgotten their relatives in the ocean and on lands and rivers that sustained them for tens of thousands of years. So we creatures of the Southern Ocean are travelling with Whale to share and grow our stories of relationship and purpose. And we’re listening to stories that relate to us, that people tell, specially stories that surprise and delight, and give hope. I hope to learn how we can all live well together.

Like all creatures I evolve with nature to move with natural cycles of change and transformation, adapting and moving in response to changing conditions through hours, days, months, years, centuries and eons.

Scientists observe that I feed on algae and that I am food for fish, squid and other creatures of the sea. They call me the canary in the coal mine for ocean acidification. They predict that I am among the first creatures to be affected by changes in ocean chemistry due to our fragile, aragonitic shells and high abundances in polar and sub-polar regions where the impacts of ocean acidification first manifest. What change in me impacts other creatures that depend on me for food? What change in me impacts people? IPCC Reports.

Posted on Friday, October 11th, 2019