Ancient Shellfish Disappears

Ancient Shellfish Disappears

Tyrian purple, or imperial purple, was a dye extracted from shellfish along the Levant coast. One of the primary sources of this color was from a shellfish, stramonita haemastoma, which translates to “the red-mouthed rock shell.” This species has disappeared from the eastern Mediterranean coast, and the cause of this is the global rising in sea temperature.

Gil Rilov, an Israeli marine biologist, wrote in a survey for Nature’s Scientific Reports, “temperature trends indicate an exceptional warming of the coastal waters in the pat three decades […] the fast rise … may have helped push these invertebrates beyond their physiological tolerance limits leading to population collapse and possible extirpation.”

The purple dye is very valuable because it estimated thousands of shells to produce a single kilogram of dye. The method used was collecting the shells, crushing them, and then letting them rot in large vats before the color is boiled out.

The question we pose to you is: In a larger scale, in what way will an increase in sea temperatures worldwide affect our lives?

To read more about how the increase of global temperatures may harm these shellfish, click here.

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