Flame shell reef off Scotland could be world’s biggest

Source: The Guardian

Flame shells group together on the sea bed and their nests create a living reef to support hundreds of other species. Photograph: Marine Scotland/PA

The discovery of a large shellfish reef on the west coast of the UK could be the biggest find of its kind in the world, experts believe.

The reef, made up of more than 100 million brightly coloured and rare flame shells, or Limaria hians, was found in Loch Alsh, a sea inlet between Skye and the Scottish mainland. It covers an area of 4.6 sq miles (7.5 sq km) and was discovered during a survey commissioned by Marine Scotland. It is the largest known colony of flame shells in the UK and possibly the world, say experts.

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