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Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
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CMBB survey uncovers huge flame shell bed in Scottish waters

Limaria lochAlsh


CMBB Scientist Dan Harries recently discovered a huge colony of an elusive and brightly coloured shellfish species in coastal waters in the west of Scotland.

The extensive bed of at least 100 million flame shells was found during a Marine Scotland survey of Loch Alsh, a sea inlet between Skye and the Scottish mainland.

The small, scallop-like species has numerous neon orange tentacles that emerge between the creatures' two shells. Flame shells group together on the sea bed and their nests create a living reef that supports hundreds of other species.

The Loch Alsh flame shell reef is much larger than expected, covering an area of 75 hectares. For more information see press coverage of this amazing discovery on: