Glass sponge invasion follows Antarctic ice shelf retreat

July 12, 2013 4:13 AM

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Glass sponge invasion follows Antarctic ice shelf retreat

“Speedy” might sound like an odd adjective to describe a sponge, but researchers have discovered a fast-growing community of marine sponges off the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Their findings, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, challenge the hypothesis that Antarctic life responds slowly to climate change.

Severe cold and scarce food in the Antarctic led many scientists to believe that its inhabitants responded to climate change at a glacial pace, said Laura Fillinger, a biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, and the study’s lead author. But the collapse of a giant ice shel...

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