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Scientists have discovered a new species of mussel, Vadumodiolus teredinicola, at depths of just 60 feet, much shallower than previously seen for this group of mussels. This shallow-water cousin could provide insight into how giant mussels ended up deeper down in the ocean.
The existence of this shallow-water cousin, the researchers suggest, could help explain how the giant mussels ended up deeper down.
The new mussel species was discovered by Dan Distel and his colleagues while they were investigating an ancient underwater forest off the coast of Alabama. The forest, which dates back to the last ice age, was uncovered when heavy waves stirred up the sand covering it. The discovery of the shallow-water mussel adds to our understanding of the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Distel and his colleagues discovered the mussel while they were investigating an ancient underwater forest off the coast of Alabama.