Recently, marine biologists said that a huge clam that was on the verge of extinction has made a comeback, with a surge in numbers in waters off Croatia.
GS III: Species in News
About Pinna nobilis:
- Species Description: Pinna nobilis is a large Mediterranean clam, belonging to the family Pinnidae, known for its sizable shells that can grow up to 1.2 meters across.
- Ecological Role: These clams contribute significantly to the ecosystem by filtering seawater, promoting the flourishing of other marine organisms.
- Attachment Mechanism: They attach themselves to rocks using a robust byssus, composed of silk-like threads historically used for making cloth.
- Byssus Composition: The byssus fibers, secreted by the clam, consist of keratin and other proteins, reaching lengths of up to 6 cm. The inner shell exhibits a brilliant mother-of-pearl lining.
- Symbiotic Relationship: Pinna nobilis hosts symbiotic shrimp within its shell, believed to provide a mutualistic relationship. The shrimp may act as a warning system for potential threats.
- Distribution: Endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, this species faces threats from pollution and shell damage due to its relatively fragile nature.
- Pathogen Impact: The noble pen shell experienced a decline, particularly around 2016, attributed to a lethal pathogen affecting parts of the Mediterranean.
- Conservation Status: Designated as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), highlighting the urgent need for conservation efforts.
-Source: The Hindu