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Limecola balthica (Linnaeus, 1758)
Found on all UK coasts
I should be sequenced because...: If we sequence the clam we might be able to learn more about how the shell colour is made, which might help us understand why it has evolved
The Baltic clam is a particularly interesting example of ‘hidden’ colour. It occurs in a variety of different shell colours (although many individuals are white), but it lives its life buried beneath the sediment where these colours cannot be seen. Some colour is even found on the INSIDE of the shell, where it will never be seen. Breeding studies have shown that shell colour is not coming from the diet (as it does in some other species), but instead is under genetic control. What is the purpose of this colour? We don’t know!