He gave Goddard a few options but said he would have to see the animal in person before making a good decision.
Rare clams considered extinct Co-author Jeff Goddard, a research associate at the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara, stated, “Especially in a region as well-studied as Southern California, it’s not all that common to find alive a species first known from the fossil record.”
Rare clams considered extinct Goddard was looking for nudibranch sea slugs at Naples Point in November 2018 when he noticed two tiny, translucent bivalves. Goddard realized he had never seen this species before when these bivalves extended and began waving a bright white-striped foot that was longer than their shell, despite the fact that their shells were only 10 millimeters long.
Goddard decided not to collect the animals, which appeared to be uncommon, despite having access to high-quality images. Subsequent to nailing down their ordered family, he sent the pictures to Paul Valentich-Scott, caretaker emeritus of malacology at the St Nick Barbara Historical center of Regular History. ” Valentich-Scott recalled, “I was surprised and intrigued.” Along the Americas’ coast, this family of bivalves (Galeommatidae) is well-known to me. I had never seen anything like this before.
Goddard then went back to Naples Point to get his clam. He had searched for just a few square meters for two hours, but he still hadn’t seen his prize. He would repeatedly fail to find the species.
Rare clams considered extinct In March 2019, nine trips later, Goddard turned over yet another rock and discovered the missing piece of the puzzle: a single specimen in close proximity to a few small white nudibranchs and a large chiton. Once he got his hands on the shell, Valentich-Scott was even more surprised. Now that he had his specimen, the two of them could finally get to work on the identification. Although this shell did not match any of them, he was aware that it belonged to a genus with one member in the Santa Barbara region.
Valentich-Scott stated, “This really started “the hunt” for me.” I must go back through all of the scientific literature from 1758 to the present whenever I suspect something is a new species.
The two researchers made the decision to investigate an intriguing reference to a species of fossil. They were able to locate illustrations of the bivalve Bornia cookie based on the 1937 paper that described the species. It seemed to be the same as the current specimen. This would imply, if true, that Goddard had discovered a kind of living fossil rather than a brand-new species.
It is important to note that George Willett, the scientist who described the species, estimated that he had examined and excavated approximately one million fossil specimens from the Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, he never discovered B. cookie himself. Rather, he named it after Edna Cook, a Baldwin Slopes gatherer who had found the main two examples known.
Valentich-Scott mentioned Willett’s unique example (presently delegated Cymatioa cookie) from the Normal History Historical center of the Los Angeles District. The “type specimen,” which serves to define the species, is the final authority on the clam’s identification.
In the meantime, Goddard discovered a second specimen at Naples Point: a single empty shell in the sand beneath a boulder. Valentich-Scott came to the conclusion that the Naples Point specimens and the Willett fossil belonged to the same species after carefully comparing them. He recalled how remarkable it was.
Despite its small size and obscure habitat, this raises the question of how the clam managed to escape detection for so long. “It’s hard to believe no one found even the shells of our little cutie,” Goddard said. “There is such a long history of shell-collecting and malacology in Southern California, including folks interested in the harder-to-find micro-mollusks.”
This could explain why no one else, including Goddard, who has been working on nudibranchs at Naples Point since 2002, had noticed C. cookie at the site prior to 2018. Publish by World news spot
Goddard stated, “I suspect that down there Cymatioa cookie is probably living in close association with animals burrowing beneath those boulders.” “The Pacific coast of Baja California has broad intertidal boulder fields that stretch literally for miles,” he added.