Growth Rate of a Vesicomyid Clam from the Galápagos Spreading Center

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Science  20 Nov 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4523, pp. 909-911
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4523.909


The shell of a 19-centimeter-long vesicomyid clam, collected live at the Galápagos spreading center hydrothermal field, was sampled along growth lines and analyzed for members of the 238U and 232Th decay series. The growth rate, determined from the 210Po/210Pb and 228Th/228Ra couples, is about 4 centimeters per year along the axis of maximum growth, which is 12 centimeters long. This yields an age of 3 to 4 years for this clam.