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BURROWING CLAM (Tridacna maxima)
Biodiversity > Marine Life > Molluscs > oysters, mussels

The Burrowing clams are amongst the most colourful animals on the rock platform at lord Howe Island.  Protruding from their shells are two brightly coloured mantle lobes, often displaying hues of green, orange, aqua or purple in striking patterns of dots and lines. Minute algae living in the mantle tissues are responsible for these colours. This symbiotic relationship provides a home and some nutrients for the algae, while the clam receives nutrients off the algae from photosynthesis. While the clams appear to burrow, this is deceptive. Close inspection almost invariably reveals sand and weed piled up around their shells. The shells are very thick and heavy, with fluted outer margins.


Size: to 25cm h.



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