Saturday, 29 November 2014

New clam species found off of B.C.'s coast

The Canadian Press 
Published Wednesday, November 26, 2014 7:25PM EST 
Last Updated Wednesday, November 26, 2014 7:45PM EST


VICTORIA -- Ten years after an unusually scalloped clam was dragged up from the ocean floor off northern Vancouver Island, the tiny mollusk is making waves in the research world.

Melissa Frey, curator of invertebrates at the Royal BC Museum, was cataloguing a number of species about four years ago when she noticed something different about the tiny clam.

"I looked at the unusual scalloping and I thought this was definitely special," she said in an interview Wednesday.

"It's unusual enough and I compared it to everything that has previously been described on the West Coast of North America ... and it didn't match up to anything that was there."

To the untrained eye, the clam doesn't look much different than others. It's the same chalky white colour as many other clams and about the same length and height as a walnut in the shell.

Frey asked for the opinion of Graham Oliver, a world expert on bivalves at the National Museum of Wales, who confirmed it was a new species.


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