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The Green Life: Sea Creatures May Fight Global Warming

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December 01, 2008

Sea Creatures May Fight Global Warming

Salps surface at night Increasing numbers of jellyfish-like animals called salps have been spotted off the eastern coast of Australia, garnering attention from researchers for performing a sort of natural carbon sequestration. Salps feed on phytoplankton, marine algae that absorbs carbon dioxide. The transparent, barrel-shaped animals excrete the digested phytoplankton in the form of carbon-rich fecal pellets, which sink quickly to the ocean floor. While it is estimated that this process can move nearly 4,000 tons of carbon to deeper water each day, some scientists are concerned that salps are replacing krill, a high-nutrient food for southern right and humpback whales.

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