Many creatures reside in the depth of the sea; some of them may surprise us. Researchers have discovered a weird new species of clam. The strange creature wanders around the seafloor and feeds on soft, wet wood. The whole thing starts with a tree when a tree falls in a forest, clam feed on it. Sometimes, the wood plunges into rivers which eventually meet the sea. After a particular time, the wood becomes all wet and full of water and settle at the sea bed. The waterlogged wood even travels to great depths, where tiny clams drill into it. The creatures feed on the wood shavings and spend their entire life there.
A new study published in the Journal of Molluscan Studies, reveals about a family tree of clams that exist in deep-sea. It also includes three new genus clusters and one new species of wood-boring clam. Researchers say a discarded wood is like a tasty treat for those strange creatures. The finding of the new species expands to increase the number of wood-boring clams. Besides, they are twice the size which scientists previously thought. Janet Voight, study’s leading author, says there is not just single clam in the sea, there are many. Voight works as an Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Field Museum.
She said they have no idea of how much wood is present at the seabed. Voight surmises that there is probably a lot more than they think. Clams are aquatic animals having two shells which cover a soft, spongy body. The long and stretching organ helps them to stay in their wooden home into the ocean. Besides, it enables them to breathe and grab oxygen and other nutrients. They use this flexible muscle and support their shells against the wood. They scrape off the wood and eat the sawdust. A particular type of bacteria present in the gills of clam assists in digestion. Although, the wood-boring creatures play a key role in cycling carbon. Although, they transform the wood into something that helps other organisms to gain energy. Voight also stated that the fact blows her away.