Sunday, June 13, 2010
June 13, 2010 : Giant Clam
The giant clam, Tridacna gigas, or traditionally, pa’ua, is the largest living bivalve mollusk. T. gigas is one of the most endangered clam species. It was mentioned as early as 1825 in scientific reports. One of a number of large clam species native to the shallow coral reefs of the South Pacific and Indian oceans, they can weigh more than 200 kilograms (441 lb) measure as much as 1.2 meters (4 ft) across, and have an average lifespan in the wild of 100 years or more. They are also found off the shores of the Philippines, where they are called taklobo. T. gigas. Its range covers the Indo-Pacific, but populations are diminishing quickly and the giant clam has become extinct in many areas where it was once common. lives in flat coral sand or broken coral and can be found at depth of as much as 20 meters (66 ft)T. maxima has the largest geographical distribution among giant clam species; it can be found in high- or low-islands, lagoons, or fringing reefs. Its rapid growth rate is likely due to its ability to cultivate plants in its body tissue.