Vanuatu Cockle

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Image: Delphine Brabant, MNHN.

My friends at National Geographic have provided permission for me to share some of the images from the recent discovery of a huge number of new species on and around the south Pacific island of Vanuatu.

Tiny Tropical Island Yields a Wealth of Species

A cockle's large, muscular foot juts through an opening in the mantle supporting its shell.

The cockle bends and straightens the foot to jump away from predators in its shallow-water ocean habitat off the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. The cockle uses the two small holes in its shell to pump and release seawater filtered through its gills.

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Singing cockles and mussels, alive alive-o! These are not only beautiful organisms, they are beautifully photographed.

By Trin Tragula (not verified) on 17 Dec 2008 #permalink