Thursday, June 26, 2008

File Clam & Phyllid Nudibranch at St John's

Brought a group of Dunman High students to St John's Island on a Coastal Protection workshop on Tuesday.

Must say that St John's Island is certainly one of my favourite island, as it always surprises us with many interesting organisms. I did not take many photos since I was guiding, and so only have two of the interesting animals here.

This is a file clam (Limaria sp.). It is supposed to be related to scallops, and like the latter it can swim by clapping its shells together to expel water, thus pushing itself forward. It was mentioned in a few other articles that their tentacles help them to change directions while they are swimming.

Here's the front view of this beautiful bivalve. Read in a forum that the file clams, being filter feeders, also use their tentacles to grab planktons and detritus from the water.

Another interesting find was this phyllid nudibranch, which I thought could be a Phyllidia elegans. The many species of phyllid nudibranchs are said to be very poisonous. They can release toxins into the water when they are stressed, and the toxins could possibly kill the nearby marine organisms.

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