Giant Clams

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Giant clams are usually found in coral reefs that have formed in warm water, such as the South Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean. They are huge shellfish that can grow up to 1.2 metres in width and are also the largest molluscs in the world. When a giant clam settles itself on the rocks or corals of a coral reef, it stays there for its whole life. They usually live for about 100 years.

Giant clams are bivalves, meaning they are made up of two shells that are joined together. When they open out their shell during the daytime, you can see the beautiful colours and unusual designs of the inside.

Would you have guessed that no two giant clams ever have the same colours?


Giant clams can feel threatened if people get too close, and they will close their shell. Some people used to believe that they were ‘man-eating clams’ because they are able to hold a person really tightly between its two shells. Giant clams are really only trying to protect themselves and aren’t too dangerous. It does take the shell a long time to close up, and it wouldn’t suddenly snap shut on a person’s leg or arm!