Tag: Black abalone

Chasing the Wild Abalone: Confessions of a Field Biologist

To be honest, I love abalone and have always been fascinated by this most unusual of snails. In college I truly began to “chase the abalone” which led me to become a field biologist. So these are my confessions; some of my adventures while chasing abalone. Things I normally wouldn’t admit to but looking back were just part of the lore of being a field biologist.

The Elephant Seals of Año Nuevo

The year was 1987 and I was searching for a place where black abalone were largely undisturbed so I could complete my dissertation. The island was the perfect location: isolated, difficult to access, federally protected, and surrounded by seal- and shark- infested waters. During my first low tide on the island I was ecstatic: blacks were common and it was the perfect place to conduct a study but there were elephant seals everywhere.

The Rarest Mollusk: an Abalone with No Holes!

Since abalone are defined by their row of respiratory pores on the shell it is of course quite interesting that some individuals have been found that do not have them! These abalone, called imperforates, are extremely rare and only three are known for certain, all black abalone (Halotis cracheodii). A recent scientific paper published by Buzz…