Latest species threatened by climate change: Mussels

Ocean acidification — which occurs when the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide — threatens one of the most dominant life forms on shorelines, mussels, by making it tough for the bivalve to keep itself glued to rocks. More...

[The Tyee (Mar 14, 2013)]

A new species of Cardiidae

Jan Johan ter Poorten, a participant in a related bivalve phylogeny project, Bivalves in Time and Space (BiTS), recently published a paper announcing a new species of Cardiidae. The paper is entitled “Fulvia (Fulvia) nienkeae spec. nov., a new Fulvia from the Central Indo-West Pacific (Bivalvia, Cardiidae)” [Basteria 76 (4-6): 117-125].

First evidence of immunomodulation in bivalves under seawater acidification and increased temperature

Water acidification, temperature increases and changes in seawater salinity are predicted to occur in the near future. In such a global climate change (GCC) scenario, there is growing concern for the health status of both wild and farmed organisms. More...

[ (Dec 3, 2012)]

Oyster research study sheds light on alarming shortage

For the oystermen and concerned residents at Thursday's meeting in Apalachicola, the message wasn't good. "The outlook is tricky to say and that's what makes everybody anxious," said UF Professor Andy Kane. Officials from the University of Florida's Extension Office released new findings into Franklin County's alarming oyster shortage, the research three months in the making.


[ (Panama City Beach, FL) (Dec 6, 2012)]

In search of more resistant mussels to red tides

Scientists from several agencies who have been studying red tide from various water sources obtained "important progress" and "promising results" on reducing the impact of marine biotoxins. More...

[FIS (Dec 5, 2011)]

Impacts of ocean acidification

West Coast shellfish growers have learned to work around upwellings of corrosive waters and save the lives of their bivalve stocks.

Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are changing the chemistry of the oceans, making it more acid. The CO2 surge stems mostly from coal and to a lesser degree, oil –fired power plants. The resulting off kilter acidity reduces carbonate, the mineral building block of shells, skeletons and corals.


[Stories in the News (Ketchikan, AK) (Dec 17, 2011)]

VIMS report shows record number of young scallops

Recent surveys by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, reveal an unprecedented number of young scallops in two fishery management areas off the mid-Atlantic coast. More...

[William & Mary News and Events (May 25, 2012)]

DEP: Invasive Species Spotted In 2 More Connecticut Lakes

A small but worrisome invasive species that has already bedeviled the Great Lakes and waterways in New York, the zebra mussel, was discovered this week in two environmentally important lakes along the Housatonic River. More...

[Hartford Courant (Oct 15, 2010)]

Chemical method replaces biological process for detecting marine biotoxins in mussels

The European Commission (EC) has established a new method for detecting marine biotoxins in bivalve molluscs, with techniques based on liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. This method will replace the previous mouse bioassay and rat bioassay. More...

[ (Jan 12, 2011)]

Antarctic Laternula elliptica shown to adapt to ocean acidification

Life will out. It just wants to stay alive. That is a basis for mutation and evolution. Researchers from New Zealand have published an examination of the effects of ocean acidification on Antarctic bivalve Laternula elliptica at the Public Library of Science that demonstrates the ability of the benthic bivalve to adapt and survive ocean acidification. More...

[Philadelphia Examiner (Jan 8, 2011)]

Spanish researchers decipher the DNA of mussels

This is a globally pioneering project for the sequencing, assembly and annotation of the genome of the mussel, with the aim of improving its cultivation and increasing profitability. More...

[ (Dec 20, 2010)]

Mitochondrial phylogenomics of the Bivalvia

Doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) is an atypical system of animal mtDNA inheritance found only in some bivalves. Under DUI, maternally (F genome) and paternally (M genome) transmitted mtDNAs yield two distinct gender-associated mtDNA lineages. [ (Feb 18, 2010)] More...

MIT boffins invent robot clam-grapnel

MIT boffins are pleased to annouce that they have at last perfected a long-sought-after technology - that of the robot clam. It seems that metal shellfish able to dig themselves into the seabed will make excellent anchors for somewhat larger droid submarines. More...

[The Register (Nov 23, 2009)]

Biologists clam up waterways to determine sources of pollution

Biologists are able to determine the sources of toxins in water by using clams as pollutant traps. Clams naturally clean water by feeding absorbing toxins in their tissues as they draw in water. By placing the clams downstream of industrial parks and highways, they can be analyzed for pollutants. More...

[ (Jan 1, 2009)]

Ocean acidification may contribute to global shellfish decline

In a new study, scientists have found that ocean acidification may contribute to global shellfish decline, as elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations impede growth and survival of bivalve larvae. More...

[Thaindian News (Oct 27, 2009)]

Scientist studies the impact of ocean acidification on the Gulf of Maine

Dr. Mark Green spends his summers in the mud of Maine's coastal areas, researching the fate of larval bivalves, also called spat.

What he's found isn't encouraging. The mud in some places along Maine's coast is so acidic that spat risk dissolving if they try to settle. While that's bad news for bivalves, it provides valuable insight into what scientists can expect from ocean acidification. More...

[ (Oct 6, 2009)]

A Northeast Pacific Expedition

A report from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute while they are at sea in the northeast Pacific. You can also follow the expedition at Deep-Sea News. More...

[Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (Sep 7, 2009)]

Douglas-fir, geoducks make strange bedfellows in studying climate change

Scientists are comparing annual growth rings of the Pacific Northwest's largest bivalve and its most iconic tree for clues to how living organisms may have responded to changes in climate.

Analyzed by themselves, the rings from a single tree or mollusk may sometimes reflect conditions that are either favorable or unfavorable for growth. When scientists look at numerous individuals of the same species, however, the consistency of the ring patterns allows them to build a model and compare that to known climatic measurements.



[Oregon State University (Jul 29, 2009)]

Identification and expression of differentially expressed genes in the hard clam in response to quahog parasite unknown (QPX)

The hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, has been affected by severe mortality episodes associated with the protistan parasite QPX (Quahog Parasite Unknown) for several years. Despite the commercial importance of hard clams in the United States, molecular bases of defense mechanisms in M. mercenaria, especially during QPX infection, remain unknown. More...

[ (Aug 2009)]

River project offers new hope for oysters

Scientists say they’ve created something in a Virginia river that hasn’t been seen since the late 1800s: a vast, thriving reef of American oysters, the shellfish that helped create the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem and then nearly vanished from it. More...

[Washington Post (Jul 31, 2009)]

Extinction: Is it in the genes?

Sometimes it’s just a case of being a member of the wrong family. Researchers analyzing evidence from 200 million years of fossil records have concluded that some lines of living organisms don't need a cataclysmic event to wipe them out. They just seem destined to go extinct. More...

[ScienceNOW Daily News (Aug 7, 2009)]

Scientists present the latest biotechnological tools in mollusc breeding

The enormous potential of biotechnological and genetic applications in Chilean aquaculture, specifically in molluscs breeding, was on show during the seminar “Biotechnology and Genetics as applied to Molluscs,” held in Port Montt. More...

[ (Aug 7, 2009)]

Study finds manmade nanoparticles could contaminate marine food web

Too tiny to see or touch, manmade nanoparticles are increasingly becoming a byproduct of industry and chemical and pharmaceutical technology. But once these super small materials enter the water supply, do they reach coastal areas and enter salt marshes and tidal zones, where shellfish and finfish grow? More...

[ (Jun 22, 2009)]

Plants and animals crowd the equator

Living in the tropics — hands down — beats living at the poles. At least that’s the consensus of the high number of species crowding near the equator. More...

[ (Apr 2, 2009)]

It's the metal in the mussel that gives mussels their muscle power

Researchers in California are reporting for the first time that metals are key ingredients that give the coatings of anchoring byssal threads of marine mussels their amazing durability. More...

[ (Apr 13, 2009)]

Cause of mussel poisoning identified

The origin of the neurotoxin azaspiracid has finally been identified after a search for more than a decade. The azaspiracid toxin group can cause severe poisoning in human consumers of mussels after being enriched in the shellfish tissues. More...

[ (Mar 24, 2009)]

Mussel destroying link in Lake Michigan food web

A tiny, shrimplike creature that's valuable to the Great Lakes food web has all but disappeared from Lake Michigan, and scientists blame the invasive quagga mussel. More...

[ (Feb 19, 2009)]

405 year-old mollusk confirms 17th Century AD radiocarbon reservoir ages for North Icelandic shelf waters

A paper entitled Very long-lived mollusks confirm 17th Century AD Tephra-based radiocarbon reservoir ages for North Icelandic shelf waters has recently been published in the journal, Radiocarbon (2008, Vol 50(3): 399–412). One specimen of Arctica islandica, collected in 2006, was aged at more than 405 years, making it the longest-lived mollusk and possibly the oldest non-colonial animal yet documented. More...

[Radiocarbon (2008)]

Exploring Alabama's mussels

The future of Alabama’s mussels is as murky as the Black Warrior River. The Tennessee, the Tombigbee, the Cahaba, the Coosa, the Tallapoosa, the Alabama, the Choctawhatchee and the Chattahoochee — the great coastal plain river systems of Alabama are home to the most diverse habitat of freshwater mussels in the world. A single mussel, which can filter 12 gallons of water a day, is the bedrock of a complex ecosystem. But almost uniformly, the species are in decline. More...

[ (Nov 2, 2008)]

Unraveling a 'Dilemma'

The article discusses the discovery of a new species of Dilemma, a genus recently discovered by Dr. José Leal. Shells of this new species were found off of central Japan. This represents a significant range extension for the genus, to the Northwest Pacific. The new species is distinguished from the other three species by its surface sculpture, shape, and hinge. The new species has been named Dilemma japonicum. More...

[ (Sep 26, 2008)]

Bisexual bivalves in the Urdaibai estuary

Chemical compounds contaminating water can alter the sexual development of aquatic organisms, giving rise to hermaphrodite creatures with both masculine and feminine gametes. This was the conclusion of a research team from the University of the Basque Country after analysing mussels and grey mullet in Urdaibai.. More...

[Basque Research (Sep 25, 2008)]

Molluscs of Eastern Thailand published

A peer-reviewed edited volume on the mollusks of eastern Thailand has just been published as The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement no. 18. All articles are freely available at The volume resulted from the Second International Marine Bivalve Workshop, Thailand, 2005.

[Sept 9, 2008]

Strange phenomenon on coast of Arabian Sea, Pakistan

An extensive clam mass mortality occurred in late July 2008 at Clifton Beach, Karachi, Pakistan, in the Arabian Sea. Photos, shared via Texas A&M researchers Fabio Moretzsohn and Wes Tunnell, are posted at The clam appears to be some species of Veneridae but has not been fully identified. The clams apparently accumulated on top of the sand overnight; most were still alive when discovered on the beach. Tunnell has suggested that it could be a specific disease. A general problem with the water has been ruled out because no other animals were found with the clams. There was an oil spill near this particular coastline 3-4 years ago. Other suggestions on what might have caused this mass mortality are being sought; please email Mir Usman Ali at Texas A&M University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

[July 2008]

New giant clam species discovered

A new species of giant clam has been discovered in the Red Sea. More...

[BBC (Aug 29, 2008)]

Giant clams released into the wild in the Philippines

A fresh batch of 40 True Giant Clams (Tridacna gigas) have just completed the journey from rearing laboratories in Bolinao to their new homes on Santelmo Reef. More...

[ (June 2008)]

Pollution destroying oyster beds

Unchecked pollution has destroyed the coastal areas near Karachi and has also resulted in the destruction of marine life, especially oyster (Mollusks) beds, which are an important source of foreign exchange in addition to maintaining the ecological balance. More...

[The News International (July 24, 2008)]

Water officials learn how to keep quagga mussels out

The quagga mussel, a small bivalve not native to United States waters, has begun to colonize the Colorado River and may soon make its way to Utah. Officials from the Central Utah Water Conservancy District learned about the invasive species and how to combat its spread in a conference Tuesday in Orem, UT. More...

[Daily Herald, Provo, UT (July 16, 2008)]

State budget backs efforts to restore oysters

North Carolina is about to throw big bucks at the humble oyster, long the poster child of what’s wrong with the coast, to try to boost stocks of the depleted bivalve.. More...

[ - Wilmington,NC, USA (July 13, 2008)]

Predation Linked To Evolution, Study Suggests

The fossil record seems to indicate that the diversity of marine creatures increased and decreased over hundreds of millions of years in step with predator-prey encounters, Virginia Tech geoscientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. More...

[ (Sep. 14, 2007)]

Ancient Marine Invertebrate Diversity Less Explosive Than Thought

Diversity among the ancestors of such marine creatures as clams, sand dollars and lobsters showed only a modest rise beginning 144 million years ago with no clear trend afterwards, according to an international team of researchers. More...

[ (July 7, 2008)]

Giant clams 'secure for another generation' after Philippine re-seeding

Re-seeding programmes on over 50 reefs are securing the survival of the giant clam for at least another generation, according to WWF-Philippines.

The clams, the world’s largest bivalve mollusks and the star of lurid but mostly imaginary literary and cinematic depictions of trapped divers, can live for over a century. More...

[WWF International - Gland,Switzerland]

Digging Into Clam Biochemistry

You’ll recall the arctic quahog - a species of bivalve clam - has a maximum lifespan somewhere north of 400 years. Other bivalve species fall into the 30 to 100 year range... More...

[from Methuselah Foundation - Washington,DC,USA]

Bivalve, NJ, restores its oyster heritage

Amid the wind and rain of a stormy bayshore day, members of the Bayshore Discovery Project and other parties broke ground on a massive, multi-million dollar initiative to reconstruct an integral part of the Delaware Bay's cultural and economic history. More...

[from, New Jersey, USA]

Bivalves used to assess environmental quality

U.S. environmental laws enacted in the 1970s are reducing overall contaminant levels in coastal waters of the United States, finds a 20 year study released today by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA...The longest continuous national contaminant-monitoring program in U.S. coastal waters, the Mussel Watch program analyzes chemical and biological contaminant trends in sediment and bivalve tissue collected at over 280 coastal sites from 1986 to present. More...

[from Environment News Service - USA]

Giant clams reappear off Eastern Samar

Although they are called “giant,” there is a need to protect the bivalve mollusks from people who seek their meat and shell.  More...

[from - Philippines]