Ocean Quahog Facts
- Ocean Quahog serves as the common name for the Arctica islandica. It represents a rather small species of bivalve mollusk.
- This ocean-dwelling creature also qualifies as the longest-lived animal species known to man.
- Evidence indicates that this species possesses an average lifespan of roughly 225 years. However, individual specimens have lived even far longer than this.
- The longest-lived individual whose age was reliably measured was 507 years old.
- Despite its relatively small size, this mollusk represents a commercially harvested food source. Despite this, however, it has maintained respectable numbers.
Ocean Quahog Physical Characteristics
The surprising Ocean Quahog grows rather slowly. Additionally, both growth rates and size vary greatly between individuals.
It rarely attains a shell width of more than 2 in (5 cm). Despite being a popular commercial catch, the IUCN does not list this mollusk as threatened.
The outer shell typically presents black in color. However, this sometimes fades with age. The interior of the shell of the creature remains off-white.
Species: A. islandica
Ocean Quahog Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Ocean Quahog inhabits continental shelves in shallower regions on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Its preferred depth measures no greater than 246 ft (75 m).
The surprisingly remarkable species typically makes its home in the open regions of the ocean floor, avoiding rocky areas and larger obstacles.
The Ocean Quahog feeds as a suspension feeder just like the Barnacle and Eccentric Sand Dollar. Also, it feeds exclusively on phytoplankton.
In turn, the animal serves as prey to a variety of sea creatures, primarily including crabs and sea stars.
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