Thursday, November 5, 2009
Boring Clams are Interesting!
While attending the Earth Science Information Partners conference at UC Santa Barbara last summer, I enjoyed a nice walk along the beach from the dorms to the conference center each morning. I was struck particularly by the vast number of holes apparently drilled into the rocks along the shore, many of them containing clam shells that just fit into the holes. A closer look at those shells reveals that it's the clams themselves that make those holes!
Examination of the clam shells reveals the sharp ridges visible in the close-up picture on the right. By persistent grinding and rotation of the cutting edges of their shells against the rock, these "rock boring clams" create safe homes for themselves in solid rock, and in doing so accomplish significant weathering of the shoreline rocks, and contribute significant sand to the beach. You can read more about boring clams here: