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About Pinna Nobilis

Context:

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.

Relevance:

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


 

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