More Mollusks

“It is strange to think of a sea turtle as an ecosystem,” says Amanda Feuerstein, program coordinator and research assistant at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, “but they are…...
Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't...
Fitting nine of anything on two fingers is impressive. These mollusks and echinoderms are a teeny-tiny sample of the ocean's biodiversity. The Census of Marine Life estimates that there are at least...
Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of One Species at a Time by serious beachcombers along the high-tide line of Sanibel Island, Florida. These “shellers” come in search of beautiful sea...
Regardless of what continent you live on, the waters that surround it are home to marine invaders. The ocean is teeming with plants and animals willing and able to move beyond their native habitats...
Rapa whelks , native to Asia, have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and are raising concerns about economic and ecological impacts to the Bay region due to their shellfish diet. Scientists believe that...
The feathery strands at the back of this nudibranch’s ( Chromodoris willani ) body are no mere adornment: they’re its gills! Nudibranchs, shell-less snails or sea slugs, are named for these tufted...
During the summer of 1998, scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science made a series of disturbing discoveries in the Chesapeake Bay. In June, they collected an unusual specimen: a single...
A longshoreman stands in front of a large pile of oyster shells on waterfront pier in Atlantic City in 1910. Back then, oysters were incredibly abundant. In the late 1800s, fishermen pulled in 10...
These Pacific cephalopods illustrate the wide diversity among this group of mollusks. You can learn about a relative, the giant squid ( Architeuthis dux ), in our Giant Squid section.
Shellfish from the Chesapeake Bay are prized by seafood lovers. But the Bay's ecosystem and fisheries are threatened by human disturbances, including the introduction of non-native species. Non-...
Giant clams are one of the many wonders of coral reefs. They can grow up to five feet wide, weigh over 400 pounds, and live for 100 years! They power all that bulk by filter feeding microbes and...
Bill Taylor, Paul Taylor, Diani Taylor and Brittany Taylor have more in common than just a last name; they also share a business. The Taylors have been in the family oyster-farming business in...
White abalones are slow-moving, algae-eating mollusks. Rapid overharvesting since the 1970s has resulted in white abalones becoming the first marine invertebrate listed as endangered on the...
About 100 million years ago , during the heyday of the dinosaurs, reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams. Like modern clams, rudists were bivalves , with two shells (or valves) joined at a...
The Great Barrier Reef site in Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. The site is the world’s most extensive stretch of coral reef with probably the richest animal diversity...
Portrait of a scallop with black and white striped lips, whose shell is encrusted with a red sponge.
When hoping to discover a pearl, looking inside one of the oysters you slurp may not be the best plan. Food oysters in the family Ostreidae are able to produce pearls, however these tend to be small...
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