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Tiny clam that was thought to be extinct found alive

The only evidence of a species of centimetre-long white clam was a fossil collected 85 years ago, until a researcher stumbled upon one living on the shores near Santa Barbara, California

Life 18 November 2022

Cymatioa cooki

Cymatioa cooki isn’t extinct after all

P. Valentich-Scott & J.H.R. Goddard

A species of clam thought to be extinct has been found alive. The only previous evidence of the species was from a fossil collected in 1937.

Jeffrey Goddard at the University of California, Santa Barbara, made the unexpected discovery in 2018 while exploring the nearby shores of Naples Point. During his search of the rocky tidal area, Goddard was immediately intrigued by a pair of centimetre-long clams, each waving an equally long white-striped foot.

The clams were unlike others he had seen, so Goddard snapped …