Sponge Finger Clam

Vulsella vulsella

Guardian: Heitor Cavalheiro

This clam has evolved a symbiotic relationship with a sponge. In return for hiding and protecting it, the sponge has grown an intake tube where the clam exhales water so that the clam pushes water into it. It is as if one day a clever little sponge thought, ‘that thing would make a good water pump, I’ll grow over it and it will feed me nutrient rich water faster than I could ever do by myself’. The clam would have agreed to the idea thinking, ‘awesome, I will be so well hidden inside a toxic sponge, no slimy stretchy-mouthed oyster-murdering snail will ever eat me’. The two then became best buddies, the sponge grew faster than the other sponges around it and the clam got other friends to stick around to help them.