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Field of Clams

Giant clams, some up to one foot long, line nooks in the seafloor off the Galápagos Islands where warm fluids flow up through cracks in rocks and feed the clams. Diving in the submersible Alvin, WHOI biologists Tim Shank and Rhian Waller discovered this swath of seafloor  life in 2002 and named it "Calyfield" after the clam species dominating the site (Calyptogenia magnifica). Calyfield was found on an expedition that returned to the area where hydrothermal vents were first found in 1977—a discovery that revolutionized understanding of where and how life could exist. (Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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