Saving the Magnificent Pacific Gaper

It is not often that you see a living horse clam on the surface of the beach unless you have taken the effort to dig one out yourself. That’s why Jocie and I initially thought that the Pacific gaper (Tresus nuttallii) that we found at Miracle Beach was dead. We quickly realized otherwise after touching the extended siphon and watching …

Horse Clam Shells

In my last post I wrote about finding weird but fascinating Horse Clam siphons sticking out of the sand and trying to identify the species based on what could be seen on the surface. Fortunately it is a lot easier to separate the Fat Gaper (Tresus capax) from the Pacific Gaper (Tresus nuttallii) if you’ve got shells that you’ve found …

Flacid

I love turning over rocks in the intertidal zone – you never know what you might find! Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) with its siphon extended. This rather suggestive looking image is the siphon of a Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) that I found underneath a rock at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I usually see just the tip of the …

See Shells by the Sea Shore

A young beachcomber discovers some Japanese Varnish Clams on the beach at Kye Bay, Comox, BC. One of the joys of walking the beaches of Vancouver Island is finding a clam shell or two while out on the sand or cobble. For those new to West Coast beach combing, determining the species of bivalve that the shell belongs to can …

Butter Clams at Goose Spit

One of the clams that we discovered on Tuesday at Goose Spit was the Butter Clam (Saxidomus gigantea). Clams belong in the Phylum Mollusca, Class Bivalvia and are characterized by having two shells or valves. They are filter feeders and take microscopic organisms out of the water that they draw into their bodies through a siphon. Butter Clam (Saxidomus gigantea), …