Iceland’s Seabed Ecosystem II
Giant file clam (Acesta excavata) is a large and moderately convex bivalve living in the south and southwest of Iceland at a depth of 200-1400 m. The largest shells measure 17 cm in height and 10 cm in width. This is the largest bivalve found in Icelandic waters. The animal itself is pink or orange in colour while the shell is whitish. The giant file clam is often found close to corals and coral reefs. It subsists on plankton which are filtered from the mass of sea water. The file clam is considered excellent food but it is not harvested or used for culinary purposes.
Zigzag coral (Madrepora oculata) is a stony coral that forms a hard calcium shell. The zigzag coral is one of three coral species that can form coral reefs in Icelandic waters. Its growth rate is about 3-20 mm annually, which means that the formation of coral reefs takes an enormous amount of time. In Iceland the zigzag coral grows at the edge of the continental shelf off the south and west of Iceland at a depth of 200-1000 meters. There are many coral reefs in this area and some of them have been filmed with underwater cameras. These coral reefs are protected.