Časoris
Velika apnenčasta lupina nudi zavetje mnogim morskim organizmom. Vir: Hectonichus, CC BY-SA 3.0 /Wikimedia Commons
Velika apnenčasta lupina nudi zavetje mnogim morskim organizmom. Foto: Hectonichus/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Fan mussels are back in the Adriatic Sea

While diving in the sea this winter, divers once again noticed fan-shaped clams growing from the sea floor.

These are fan mussels, also known as noble pen shells, an endemic of the Mediterranean Sea.

They can live up to sixty meters deep. They are an important part of the marine ecosystem because their huge shell provides shelter for many organisms long after the shell is no longer alive.

Fan mussels are a protected species, so they must not be collected. 

“The fan mussel populations recovered, but then in 2016 biologists noticed that in the Mediterranean Sea they started to disappear in masses.”

At that time in the Adriatic Sea, most of the adult fan mussels died.

The death was most likely caused by protozoa or pathogenic bacteria.

“However, the fact is that the young specimens, which are the descendants of the surviving adult shells, returned to the seabed from the planktonic larvae.”

The divers do not want to reveal where they were all found, reports Boris Šuligoj in Delo.

Glossary

A population is a larger group of individuals, usually of the same species, living in the same place.

An endemic is an organism that lives only in a certain part of the world.

Protozoa are unicellular organisms that cannot be classified as animals, plants or bacteria. Most of them are microscopic, some of them cause diseases.

Points to Consider

  1. Have you ever seen a fan mussel?
  2. Do you know of any other endemics?
  3. What is plankton?

***

The original version of this article was published on 24th January.

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Adamič je diplomirana biotehnologinja, ki rada potuje po svetu in približuje znanost najmlajšim.

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Svetina is an English translator, EFL educator, and graphic designer. She is an American who has lived in Slovenia since 2008. She loves hiking and traveling with her family.

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