Giant clams; one of the world’s greatest mysteries. I learned this astonishing new information all because of my interest in endangered animals. I started off researching glass frogs which lead me to algae. While looking at algae I learned that giant clams offer shelter for algae and I wondered what a giant clam is. I went into further research about the giant clam and found it very interesting. I pondered among questions, such as  what their general life is like. After doing all this research I decided to make giant clams my topic for this information novel.


I dedicate this book to Rachel Carson; one of the most inspirational marine biologists of all time.


 Introduction and Dedication 



Table of Contents 


Introduction and dedication: 1


Table of Contents: 2


Chapter One: 3


Infographic 1: 8


Chapter Two: 9


Infographic 2: 14


Chapter Three: 15


Infographic 3: 20


Glossary: 21


Bibliography: 22





What is the first thing that comes to mind when a Giant clam is mentioned? Is it hideous, terrible, or monster like? Do the words alluring, majestic, or engrossing come to mind? These phenomenal life forms expand the knowledge of the average human being. They prove to be exceptional animals with amazing ability to captivate the human eye. Giant clams have proven to be helpful to humans, have an eccentric history and family tree, and have several intriguing different forms. So, are Giant clams still these gruesome monsters?

 Chapter One



Imagine an animal the size of a child; do you imagine another helping hand? Strangely enough giant clams are extremely helpful. They are helpful because they are an actual habitat for algae, are very nutritious, are living bio filters, and they even help keep population numbers down. Giant Clams are the habitat for algae because in order to survive algae need light to go through photosynthesis. These behemoths provide light with their fluorescent colors. In return for this form of insulation, the giant clams eat the algae. Giant clams can also benefit humans by having great nutrients. Giant clams contain nutrients that humans need for a certain muscle. This wondrous clams diet of algae helps boost their nutrients level. This majestic creatures are also giant bio filters. A bio filter is an animal that cleans micro organisms. This is mainly because they are bottom dwellers and are too slow to eat anything so the consum microscopic sugars that are in the water. Lastley, they help humans by keeping the number of animals down and balancing the food chain. They do this by consuming thousands of different sugars and algae daily.



Furthermore, the history and relations of the aluminous Tridacna Gigas are far more fascinating. These immense bottom dwellers have an intriguing history, family tree, and not to mention the most outrageous rumors about them! Above all of that, they have eccentric facts about them. To start off, the giant clam has an abnormal history. Long ago giant clams were roaming around and were like pennies compared to the animals around them. The giant clam has been around for several years. Also, giant clams have been known to look bigger than they actually are. On top of that, they have an amazing family tree! Their family tree includes tons of shellfish including things half the size of it. They are related to scallops, mussels, and smaller clams like the ones you would find on beaches. Giant clams also are not at all what they are thought to be. These gentle giants are accused for being cruel monsters. In ancient legends they were said to be aggressive man eaters. That is like accusing a puppy of being a dragon! Besides the fact that they don’t want to eat humans, they couldn’t eat humans even if they wanted to! Giant clams are as slow as snails; if not slower! The Tridacna Gigas also have bizarre things that they do! In fact,  giant clams can live in depths of up to 20 meters! Not to mention their outrageous colors!



Lastly, there are several different types of giant clams. Some of these include the original Tridacna Gigas, the Tridacna Squamosa, and the Tridacna Derasa. Furthermore, there are several different things that make each different species unique. To start off, the Tridacna Gigas is by far the largest clam, according to the researchers at www.aquasearch.net. The author also states: “It can reach [over] 1.3m in shell length.” which tells me that the original giant clam is by far the largest of its kind. Although the original giant clam is a truly extravagant creature, the Tridacna Squamosa is also intriguing. Tridacna Squamosa can translate to ‘the scaley one’ according to the author. This beautiful organism only can grow up to 40cm, www.aquasearch.net  says. Not to forget, it has been even found in the Red Sea! Another fascinating critter is the Tridacna Derasa. Which the author says: “[Whose name translates to] the smooth giant clam.” Which brings up the fact that Tridacna Derasa is astonishingly smooth. It also can be found in Australia's Great Barrier reef. Above all, these clams are very interesting and are very similar, so what makes them different? What mainly makes different species of giant clam different is there body features and habitats. For example, while the Tridacna Derasa can be found in Australia the Tridacna Squamosa can be found in the Red Sea. Although there are so many types of giant clam, they are all so alike.



In conclusion, giant clams have an amazing general life that is a mystery almost as giant as the clam itself! Some factors to this are the fact that they help humans, have an interesting history and family tree, and the fact that they have several different types of species. So, why do we care about these amazing, helpful, and mysterious creatures? That question answers itself. 




Infographic #1 




An immense beast overwhelms you as you step into the water; is it dangerous? Is it a monster? Wrong and even more wrong. That so called monstrous creature is a giant clam. Giant; is the only word that can sum up the Tridacna Gigas The giant clam is an extraordinary organism that astonishes most. It’s body is one of the main reason it is so sought after. The giant clam is well, giant. It also has a breathtaking mantle and an glamorous appearance.  


Chapter 2 






To start off, the giant clam is exactly what its name suggests, a giant clam. Some factors of the giant clams body are its size, weight, insides, and not to forget its weights percentage. The giant clams are the world’s largest living mollusks. The common size of the giant clam is three feet and can grow four inches every year. Secondly, the giant clams weight is also a part of its size. Infact, the largest giant clam found was five hundred and fifty pounds. Their soft body weight is all nutrients. The most injuries caused by giant clams are when poachers lift them up not realizing how heavy they are and the poachers drop them. Not to forget about the Tridacna Gigas internal body parts. Their valves are symmetrical and they have gills that absorb oxygen. They also can change gender. Finally, one of their most important factors of their size is their percentages of their weight. An estimated 90% of their body weight is their mantle while the other 10% is their soft bodied inside. The giant clams size, weight, insides, and statistics prove that the giant clam has an outstanding body structure.





Imagine a giant colorful beam of light beside you; that is everyday with the giant clam! This majestic beauty has a breathtaking mantle that exceeds expectations. It has fascinating mantle tissue, eyes, shape, and color. Firstly, the giant clams mantle tissue contains several different aspects that make it unique. Its mantle tissue happens to be a yellow with hints of green and brown. Its mantle tissue also is very sturdy because it can support the giant clam. Secondly, the giant clams has several eccentric facts about its eyes. The giant clam has several eyes that are bordered by blue and seafoam green rings. Which is so surprising considering that they have no head. The Tridacna Gigas also has an amazing shape. They have a zigzag shape at the top of their mantle making it extremely difficult for them to close their valves fully because of the way the zig-zags have to get by each other. Finally, the giant clam has stunning colors. The giant clam has exhilarating colors such as greens and blues. They can be quite intriguing and fluorescent. This trait of theirs often makes giant clams end up in aquariums where they are held hostage and vulnerable. The giant clams mantle is definitely affected by its great colors, amazing eyes, intriguing shape, and stunning mantle tissue.





The last factor greatly affecting the giant clams body is their appearance. The giant clams have an amazing appearance that makes them stand out in their own outstanding way. There are many factors that contribute to the giant clams appearance such as: their  glamorous shell indents, their bewitching clear spots, the fascinating truth to why their shells won’t close, and the amazing way they get their colors. First of all, the giant clam has wonderful shell indents that appear on its shell. Usually speaking there is around four to five indents on the giant clams shell. These indents are often called the giant clams ‘fingerprints’. They are called this because they all look like someone imbedded a giant finger into the shell causing it to be dented permanently. Another interesting thing about the Tridacna Gigas is their clear spots. These spots can be clear or white. These spots are very important because it can help the original giant clam look different than its closely related family such as the Tridacna Squamosa. Not to forget about the reason why the giant clams shell won’t close. The giant clams shell will not close until they are an adult because is has strands connecting it to stay tied to the ocean floor because when it is little its weight can not keep it down so it needs something to attach it to the ground, such as the strand of its body it has.Finally, the giant clam gets its color from an amazing place. The giant clam gets its color from symbiotic algae. This is because the symbiotic algae is connected to the giant clam so you see the symbiotic algaes colors.







In conclusion the giant clam has an outstanding body with three main factors, its immense size, it's amazing mantle, and its extravagant appearance. The giant clam has proven to be an amazing creature that has amazing abilities. So why do giant clams matter? Why are they so intriguing? Why do we want to save them? The real question: Why wouldn’t we love giant clams?




Infographic #2 




Imagine witnessing a helpless creature being destroyed by our own kind. Maybe you imagined a dolphin or a turtle, but the creature I am thinking of is much more at risk! The Tridacna Gigas, better known as the giant clam. There are several reasons why the giant clam population is drastically declining such as tourist and lack of knowledge, but there are three main reasons why this travesty is occurring. The three main reasons are the liking aquariums have taken to them, the horrendous poachers, and not to forget their terrible defense system.


Chapter 3 




A bright, colorful, and majestic creature. There is no better place to put it than an aquarium, right? That statement is wrong. There are several reasons why the giant clam does not belong trapped behind glass and these main reasons are there babies die very easily, they die easily, they are very hard to take care of when they are spawning, and many people may not be responsible enough to take on these gentle giants. The giant clams babies die very easily while they are in an aquarium because of the water quality changing when they spawn. This can kill the infant clams and possibly the mother/father clam as well. Imagine, five hundred clams being born and dying instantly. If this disgrace continues we will no longer have any giant clams. Secondly, the giant clams can also die while there in the aquarium for other reasons. Although they can die while they are spawning because of the poor water quality as well, they can die in aquariums for many other reasons. One of these terrible reasons is the fact that the tanks may become too small to fit the giant clam to fit in and the tank will break and then the water will drain out and the giant clam will die. Not to forget another struggle of being in an aquarium as a giant clam is it is hard to spawn. Some reasons for this are they could be spawning while aquariums trade them. Imagine, being lost and afraid in a truck while you are about to give birth. Another reason spawning in a aquarium is hard for the giant clam is they need to be able to be in peace instead of little kids banging on their glass tanks. Finally, aquariums can hurt the giant clam because they can neglect and not care for the giant clam. There are many ways aquariums can do this such as not feeding them properly, not checking in on them, and by just overall not checking their health status. In conclusion, the giant clam is partially endangered by aquariums.





Imagine being face to face with an evil monster not knowing what is going to happen next. That is everyday for the giant clam. The giant clam faces many threats one of the biggest being poachers. Poachers are a huge problem because there are so many of them and it is extremely hard to keep track of them. There are four clear reasons for this which are the amazing nutrients they have stored in them, their delicious taste, there beautiful shells, and overfishing. All of these horrifying threats have one thing in common, these evil poachers. Imagine, a giant figure hovering over you trying to kill you because of your healthy habits. This is what the giant clam faces because of its amazing diet. The giant clam contains amazing nutrients that are highly desired by humans. Its most sought after part of its body is its adductor mussel because it is extremely healthy. Another reason why the giant clam is endangered is there amazing taste. They taste so delicious on top of being healthy making them the perfect thing to have at a seafood restaurant. It is due to this that humans have simply fallen in love with the giant clam as a lunch choice. Not to forget their amazing shells! The giant clam has beautiful colorful shells. The shells are the biggest part of the giant clams body and are very expensive and are in high demand causing people to make the supply go up so they can make more money on these amazing features. Unfortunately, the Tridacna Gigas is often killed for its shell which ends up the population overall. The final reason why these graceful giants are hurt because of poaching is because of overfishing. All though a low number of fishing is normal, poachers have gone absolutely crazy for the giant clam and overfish it. This is resulting in the loss of these wonderful creatures and more giant clam merchandise. In conclusion, the Tridacna Gigas is losing its home because of our ignorance.





Finally, the giant clam is at risk because of their weak defense system. Of course they have giant shells that protect them from other creatures, but of course they have many struggles as any other living creature would. Imagine, being a giant clam and having everything in the ocean fear you, even though you are weak. The giant clam seems intimidating, but it is very weak. The Tridacna Gigas is just a frod trying to seem bigger than it is. The four main reasons why the giant clam has a weak defense system are its predators, its gruesome incapability to move, its bad behavior, and its simple helplessness. Firstly, the giant clam is very vulnerable because of its predators. The giant clams predators are very weak and tiny animals that are a one hundredth of its size! Some of the giant clams predators are eels, snails, and starfish. The main reason why this happens is because the giant clam has tons of smaller critters eating its body away very slowly. Secondly, the giant clam is unable to move. When it is a juvenile it finds a place and attaches one of its body parts to the ground so it weighs it down and when it is finally heavy enough to be unable to move it lets go of its body part and its weight prevents it from moving. Not to forget about the giant clams wacky behavior. The giant clam has an eccentric behavior that causes it to close its shell whenever a predator comes and it tries to go unnoticed. Unfortunately, it is pretty hard not to notice a behemoth clam sitting in front of you. Finally, the giant clam is helpless. Although they have some useful features the giant clam has many things standing in its way before it can become a common species again. In conclusion, the giant clam is an amazing creature being destroyed by their weak defense system that does not contain any way of protecting this majestic beauty.




In conclusion, the giant clam has many threats and is in need of great rescuing. In fact, it is almost locally extinct in Fiji, New Caledonia, the North Mariana Islands, Taiwan, Province of China, and Vanuatu. It also has been proven that places with a lower population have more giant clams than places with a higher population. It is also endangered because it is being traded through aquariums and abused there, it is being hurt by evil poachers, and they have a weak defence system making them helpless in the wild. So, are giant clams still  just a giant problem? Giant clams are dangerous and unwanted? Are they a nuisance to society? Or are they just helping our society and we are too blinded to see it? Are they really helpful and wanted? We are the ones killing these majestic beauties… so aren’t we the real nuisance?




Infographic #3 




Alluring: This word is a synonym for  beautiful.

Aluminous: This means mysterious.

Bewitching: This word can be translated to stunning.

Biofilters: This word means a living water cleaner.

Captivate: This word is a synonym for Intriguing.

Engrossing: This word is a synonym for Intriguing.

Gruesome: This word can be translated to horrible.

Immense: This word can translate to huge.

Mantle tissue: A part of the giant clams body that keeps it together.

Mollusks: Animals with shells or parts of their body that were fully closed off.

Photosynthesis: A process in which a living organism (usually plants or smaller organisms)

creates food from the sun's light.

Poachers: People who kill animals illegally.

Spawning: Laying eggs.

Symmetrical: Having both sides of the body being mirror images of eachother.

Tridacna Gigas: This is another name for the giant clam.

Valves: A synonym for the word shell.

Water quality: This determines how clean the water of a certain area is.






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