Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have documented what they are calling possibly the most extreme case of animal structure elongation documented to date.
In a paper published in the November 6 issue of the journal Nature, Suzanne Dufour and Horst Felbeck show that a clam from a certain species can extend its foot (clams have only one foot) up to 30 times the length of its shell to reach chemicals in marine sediment necessary for the survival of their symbionts, marine bacteria that live within the clams.
To test the extension process, Dufour set up aquarium tanks with sediment to investigate how clams that require chemicals differ from those that do not. Clams that live in a symbiotic relationship with marine bacteria act as hosts that retrieve chemicals, typically sulfide or methane.
Mario Aguilera | Scripps News
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