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Image Bivalve mollusc

TLF ID R6893

This is a colour photograph of a collection of bivalve molluscs ('Theora lubrica').




Educational details

Educational value
  • Bivalved molluscs occur widely in marine habitats, and some live in freshwater ponds and streams. Most bivalves use their muscular foot to move through sand or mud. Nearly all bivalves feed on organic matter on the sediment suspended in the water, and others burrow into, or live attached to, rocks or wood. Some examples of well-known bivalves are clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.
  • Bivalved molluscs occur widely in marine habitats, and some live in freshwater ponds and streams. Most bivalves use their muscular foot to move through sand or mud. Nearly all bivalves feed on organic matter on the sediment suspended in the water and others burrow into, or live attached to, rocks or wood. Some examples of well-known bivalves are clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.
  • 'Theora lubrica', a non-native species, was among thousands of marine animals collected from Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, as part of the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Surveys of 1969-73 and 1992-96. These surveys, conducted by government departments and Museum Victoria, were concerned with the environmental condition of the Bay and changes in benthic communities (those found on or in sea floor sediments). Invaluable information relating to the density and distribution of native and introduced species was obtained, and many previously unknown species were identified.
  • The Port Phillip Bay Environmental Surveys found 'T lubrica' to be the most abundant invertebrate in the Bay in the 1970s. By the 1990s, two other non-native invertebrates, including another bivalve, joined this species as the most common invertebrates occurring in Port Phillip.
  • 'T lubrica' are small bivalves with a maximum length of about 14 mm. This species is native to shallow bays in Japan and elsewhere in the western Pacific. 'T lubrica' buries itself in sediment on the sea floor and feeds on particles there. It is an opportunistic species that develops quickly, and is tolerant of low oxygen levels, disturbed environments and polluted waters, all features contributing to this species becoming a marine pest.
  • 'T lubrica' was first found outside its native range in Port Phillip Bay in 1958, when it was already common there. By the early 1970s it had spread to many other Australian bays, to most of New Zealand, to the west coast of North America, to Israel and to Italy. It is an invasive marine pest and it rapidly established populations in these new environments. 'T lubrica' was probably accidentally transported to Australia and throughout the world in the ballast tanks of commercial ships.
Year level

2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12

Learning area
  • Science

Other details

Contributors
  • Contributor
  • Name: Museum Victoria
  • Organization: Museum Victoria
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://museumvictoria.com.au/
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Benjamin Healley
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Museum Victoria
  • Organization: Museum Victoria
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum Victoria, 2016, except where indicated under Acknowledgements