Finicky snails provide new clues to the evolution of coastal ecosystems

Whether sauted in wine or steamed in the shell, mussels have long been a favorite of seafood lovers. For most people, the type of mussel served isn't important - as long as there are plenty of them on the plate.

But in the wild, it's a different matter. According to a new study in the journal Science, when it comes to preying on mussels, marine snails are often pickier than people.

The study, led by scientists from Stanford University, focused on a species of mussel that California snails love to eat but Oregon snails won't come near. The scientists discovered that this culinary preference is probably an inherited trait - the result of generations of genetic and geographic isolation along the shores of the Pacific.

The discovery of finicky snail populations on the Oregon and Washington coast could have profound implications for managing marine ecosystems worldwide, the researchers added.

''If you go down the coast from Canada to Mexico, you will find species that individually look the same but actually have undergone genetic adaptations to local conditions,'' said George N. Somero, the David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Science at Stanford and co-author of the Science study. ''As a result, a species that's relatively unimportant in one habitat may turn out to be very important in another.''

Channeled whelks

The new findings, published in the May 16 issue of Science, were based on experiments conducted at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, where researchers analyzed the eating habits of the channeled whelk (Nucella canaliculata) - an inch-long snail commonly found in coastal waters from Alaska to California. Whelks are voracious consumers of mussels, despite being much smaller than their prey.

''A whelk drills through the shell of a mussel using its file-like tongue - the radula - and acid secretions,'' said Eric Sanford, lead author of the Science study. ''When the hole is drilled through, a tu

Contact: Mark Shwartz
Stanford University

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. Study finds that fungus farming by snails causes marsh grasses to wither
2. Global warming: lessons taught by snails and crabs
3. Florida scientist finds eight new snails that may give water quality clues
4. Picking prostanoids to provide protection
5. Study by Israeli scientists provides insight on DNA code
6. Adaptive changes in the genome may provide insight into the genetics of complex disease
7. Essential smell gene may provide key to new insect repellents
8. Clemson University spin-off uses corn to make plastics, provide cleaner air
9. Method to visualize gene activity may provide insight into normal development & genome function
10. Study by Tufts biologist provides window into progression of some degenerative diseases
11. New discovery could provide tool to detect whether a cancer will develop and spread

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/5/2020)... ... March 05, 2020 , ... ... its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of the industry’s key opinion leaders ... therapy centers, and private industry. Cytonus is a leading cell-based platform technology ...
(Date:3/4/2020)... ... March 04, 2020 , ... ... announced the release of a unique, multi-dimensional nutraceutical formula for ocular blue light ... and natural plant biology to increase the retina’s healthy pigmentation and improve the ...
(Date:3/3/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... March 03, 2020 , ... Amplify Surgical, ... with the dualX Expanding Interbody Fusion System. , The landmark case was ... After the case Dr. Najafi noted, “dualX has completely changed the game for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/12/2020)... ... March 12, 2020 , ... With the beginning of 2020, ... business investment in Europe by inaugurating a new scientific facility for academic and ... new Nanoscience Center Europe took place Tuesday, February 18, 2020, gathering customers, collaborators ...
(Date:3/10/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Lifecycle Biotechnologies announced today that is has acquired ... used as a biopharmaceutical and biotechnology production and development campus. Lifecycle is currently updating ... its production and development hub. The company expects to relocate from Fort Worth, Texas ...
(Date:3/3/2020)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... March 03, 2020 , ... ... company serving the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries, was recognized by INC. ... 5,000 puts forward annual lists to note industry leaders greatly impacting their spheres ...
(Date:2/28/2020)... ... February 26, 2020 , ... Designed primarily ... camera with a dedicated controller, thus simplifying setup, streamlining integration, and optimizing workflow. ... the first of Fastec Imaging’s new HS Series cameras to be released. The ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: