The toheroa was once considered the prime seafood delicacy of New Zealand, but its population crashed after years of overharvesting. The siphons are visible on the right-hand side. The foot (at left) is beginning to dig into the sand. Sea water is drawn into the toheroa’s body through one siphon and passes over the gills, where plankton is strained out and oxygen is absorbed. Waste water is expelled from the other siphon.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.