How does the ocean quahog tell its own story?

Meet someone whose body tells his own life’s story that runs into centuries! The ocean quahog, a bivalve mollusc that can live more than 500 years, is the longest-lived solitary animal.

The shell of an ocean quahog is a treasure-house of information for scientists. Its shell grows periodically throughout life and the growth patterns visible on the shell function as a calendar. They help not only to tell the age of the animal, but also to know more about the marine environment in the past. For example, scientists would be able to tell from the shell of a quahog, how warm the seas were two centuries ago! The quahogs are the only surviving species of a family of similar claims that had lived during the Dinosaur era!

The ocean quahog (Arctica is landica) lives in the North Atlantic Ocean, buried in sandy sea beds. It feeds on the organic matter it gets by filtering water using its siphon. Interestingly, their feeding activity seems to depend on how much light is available! Thus, in the northern-most regions where they are found, they mostly feed during eight months of the year. During the remaining months, they feed for only a few days.

Picture Credit : Google 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *