Saturday, April 25, 2009

White Abalone

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Order: Archaeogastropoda

Family: Haliotididae

This is a very rare animal, the white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni). They used to be found in great abundance in the subtidal waters off California (80 to 200 ft), there are now less than 3,000 individuals remaining in the wild. This is an issue as these animals are broadcast spawners, that is they release eggs or sperm into the water column to be fertilized. If there are no other individuals nearby, then the eggs will not be fertilized. Because of the low population numbers and their reproductive strategy, these animals are considered reproductively extinct.

However, they are on the list of endangered species, giving them great protection in their natural habitat. There are also some efforts underway to breed these snails in captivity to restock the wild populations. Work is slow, as it takes time for them to grow, and as growing them in farms leads to the increased risk of transporting diseases from the farm to the wild.


Shoshana said...

Very interesting!

My photo hunt here

srp said...

This is a most interesting and informational post.. thanks. I have heard of these animals but have never seen one before. Mine is here.

kay said...

Very interesting! I never knew those things...

I'm up at

Do drop by and visit! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.