The giant clams are also known as giant taclobo, but in scientific terms they are credited with the name Tridacna Gigas. In turn, these creatures represent another species within the bivalve mollusks; which belong to the family of the Cardiidae.
The giant clams, are usually found in the Red Sea, and in the waters that belong to the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. On the other hand, they are inhabitants of the main coral reefs, since the giant clams usually live attached to them.
It is important to note, that currently the giant clams are classified as endangered species, since there are many threats against these beautiful creatures.
General Description of The Giant Clams
First of all in terms of size, it should be noted that giant clams reach a length of at least 140 centimeters in total. On the other hand in terms of weight it is known that they can reach approximately 330 kilograms. These fact regarding their size and weight, make of them the largest mollusk species known in the world.
Another peculiar characteristics, is that these animals have about 4 or 5 ondulations, on their shells. It should be also pointed out, that adults clams aren´t able to close their shells completely. On the other hand, the giant clams also have a byssal gland, that secretes nacre (Pinna nobilis); which is the substance they use to adhere to the rocks. However, they lose this gland when they are adults.
Now, as the others clams, the giant clams also have a siphon, which is a characteristic organ of this specie. However, these specimens count in the first place with an inhaling siphon , which doesn´t have tentacles, and on the other hand they also have an exhaling siphon that is located in the mantle.
In relation to the above, it is important to note that the siphon fulfills vital functions; since this organ is responsible for ensuring the proper internal circulation of water necessary for this animal. Moreover, it also regulates the amounts of oxygen, and provides important nutrients that are essential for the development of the giant clams.
It is important to bear in mind, that giant clams are also characterized the mantle that they have. This structure stands out, for having brown tones, including the golden color and even yellowish tones. Moreover, there have also been cases where the mantle has blue and green tones.
Finally, the ends of the mantle have other tonalities, which appear in the form of moles that usually become purple or green, in intense tones.
The first aspect that must be emphasized, is that this species reaches its sexual maturity; when it attains nine or up to ten years of life. The giant clams are called protándrics, this is because at the time of birth, they have the same sex; all belong to the male gender when they are born , becoming later in hermaphrodites in order to reproduce.
Other interesting aspect, about the reproduction of the giant clams; is that they carry out an external fertilization. The male expels the sperm, and the females expels the eggs, in order to eradicate self-fertilization. After having complied with this procedure, these eggs develop into small larvae, called veligers.
Now, when the larvae are still small, they keep swimming by the ocean; and it is when they develop a little more. After a week of life, they can adhere to the substrate and the coral surface; as it is customary in the giants clams. Then they pass through a process of metamorphosis; until reaching the ideal state that is attributed to the giant clams, the latter is possible after at least 20 days in adequate development.
Finally, these animals reach maturity when they reach the age of three.
We have this interesting video for you… about the giant clams