CRYSOMALLON SQUAMIFERUM PDF

The scaly-foot snail Chrysomallon squamiferum coats its shell and tiny plates on its foot with iron that it takes out of the surrounding seawater. A snail that lives near hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor east of Madagascar has become the first deep-sea animal to be declared endangered because of the threat of mining. The International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN added the scaly-foot snail Chrysomallon squamiferum to its Red List of endangered species on 18 July — amid a rush of companies applying for exploratory mining licenses. Even one exploratory mining foray into this habitat could destroy a population of these snails by damaging the vents or smothering the animals under clouds of sediment, says Chong Chen, a deep-sea biologist and Commentary coauthor at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokosuka. For decades, mining companies have been looking to extract valuable minerals and metals that form near hydrothermal vents.

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The scaly-foot snail Chrysomallon squamiferum coats its shell and tiny plates on its foot with iron that it takes out of the surrounding seawater. A snail that lives near hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor east of Madagascar has become the first deep-sea animal to be declared endangered because of the threat of mining.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN added the scaly-foot snail Chrysomallon squamiferum to its Red List of endangered species on 18 July — amid a rush of companies applying for exploratory mining licenses. Even one exploratory mining foray into this habitat could destroy a population of these snails by damaging the vents or smothering the animals under clouds of sediment, says Chong Chen, a deep-sea biologist and Commentary coauthor at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokosuka.

For decades, mining companies have been looking to extract valuable minerals and metals that form near hydrothermal vents.

When the hot, mineral-laden water from a vent mixes with cold seawater, it deposits materials, such as manganese and copper, on the ocean floor. Collecting these deposits was once considered too difficult and expensive. But technological advances are now making it economically feasible. Sigwart and Chen say that now is a good time to raise awareness of the vulnerability of hydrothermal-vent ecosystems. Getting the scaly-foot snail on the Red List is the first step.

When the IUCN considers whether to include an organism on the Red List, researchers examine several factors that could contribute to its extinction. But hydrothermal vents naturally occupy relatively small areas of the sea floor, says Thomas.

In addition to the scaly-foot snail, the researchers are assessing at least 14 more hydrothermal vent species for possible inclusion on the Red List later this year. Chen is optimistic that Red-List status will dissuade investors from pursuing projects that could harm endangered species.

He points to organizations such as the World Bank, that require groups applying for grants to consider the effects that their projects could have on Red Listed species. But Holly Niner, who studies ocean environmental policy at Aalborg University in Denmark, says it's too soon to know how the presence of endangered animals will affect deep-sea mining activities. Hopefully regulatory officials and industry will protect vulnerable areas and direct mining operations to less sensitive habitats, she says.

Sigwart, J. Nature Ecol. Download references. An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday. Advanced search. PDF version. References 1. Article Google Scholar Download references. Nature Briefing An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday. Sign me up to receive the daily Nature Briefing email.

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Chrysomallon squamiferum , commonly known as the scaly-foot gastropod , scaly-foot snail , or sea pangolin [3] , is a species of deep-sea hydrothermal-vent snail , a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Peltospiridae. Chrysomallon squamiferum differs greatly from other deep-sea gastropods, even the closely related neomphalines. The shell is of a unique construction, with three layers; the outer layer consists of iron sulfides , the middle layer is equivalent to the organic periostracum found in other gastropods, and the innermost layer is made of aragonite. The foot is also unusual, being armored at the sides with iron-mineralised sclerites. The snail's oesophageal gland houses symbiotic gammaproteobacteria from which the snail appears to obtain its nourishment. This species is considered to be one of the most peculiar deep-sea hydrothermal-vent gastropods, and it is the only known extant animal that incorporates iron sulfide into its skeleton into both its sclerites and into its shell as an exoskeleton.

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Ocean snail is first animal to be officially endangered by deep-sea mining

Posted By Nadine Lymn on Jan 29, It is unlike any other known natural or synthetically engineered armor. Our study suggests that the scaly-foot gastropod undergoes very different deformation and protection mechanisms compared to other gastropods. It is very efficient in protection, more so than the typical mollusk. Potential predators that are found in the same regions as C.

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