Field Notes from Loreto

Loreto, June 2015The chococlate clam festival in Loreto

This year, 2015, was the first year that the Annual Chocolate Clam Festival in Loreto, Mexico included a bilingual Clam Biology tent as part of the festivities. The tent featured a large diagram of the clam life cycle with interesting facts about chocolate clams, and educational coloring pages for kids. The real star, however, was the touchtank where people could “Meet a Chocolate Clam.” By showing chocolate clams with different shell patterns and gradations of color, I explained how genetics and the environment both affect the way clams look. Kids loved seeing clams squirt water from their siphons, and I explained how clams are filter feeders, using one siphon to bring water into their bodies where they filter it for food and oxygen, and the other to push it out. It was amazing to see how excited and interested people were to learn about chocolate clam biology and understand a bit more about the life cycle of this important food species.kara with festival guests_jun15

 – Kara Pellowe-Wagstaff