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A Clam at Sunrise in the Mid-Atlantic Bight

The sun rises over the Mid-Atlantic Bight behind an ocean quahog perched on the side of the F/V ESS Pursuit during a recent research cruise. Ocean quahogs are the longest-living, non-colonial animals in the world, reaching ages of over 500 years. As they precipitate their shells in annual increments, much like trees grow in annual rings, the shells of these clams provide highly resolved geochemical records of past ocean conditions. WHOI PO postdoc Nina Whitney collected ocean quahog shells during the cruise to use in her research on reconstructing past changes in ocean circulation and conditions in the western North Atlantic.  Photo provided by Nina Whitney.