Many Antarctic marine invertebrates are considered to be highly stenothermal, subjected to loss of functionality at increased temperatures and so at high risk of mortality in a rapidly warming environment. The bivalveLaternula ellipticais often used as a model taxon to test these theories. Here, we report the first instanceL. ellipticafrom an intertidal site. Genetic analysis of the tissue confirms the species identity. A total of seven animals ranging in length from 6 to 85mm were collected from 3×0.25m2quadrats of intertidal sediments at St Martha Cove on James Ross Island, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula. Ambient temperatures of 7.5°C within the sediment and 10°C (air) were recorded. This raises questions as to the current perception that “many Antarctic marine invertebrates cannot adapt to higher temperatures”.
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- Climate change