December 5 2012,

Tridacna gigas, the largest of all the giant clams can grow to four feet across and even if most specimens never reach more than three feet long, the weight and size of these bivalves is massive. Once extinct in the Philippines, giant clams are getting a boost from a dedicated giant clam nursery called the Bolinao Marine Laboratory. Tridacna giant clams can grow fast and well in captivity but there’s no substitute for farming them in large groups on the ocean.

Over the years the BML has grown and raised many species of giant clams and the resulting nursery is a veritable field of these enigmatic solar powered mollusks. This dive video shows a spread of hundreds of Tridacna gigas living and growing in the BML nursery in a tight grouping which should encourage reproductive success when the clams actually spawn. We’d love to know whether baby Tridacna gigas clams have started appearing on other Philippino reefs due to the presence of this large adult breeding group. The video is from the California Academy of Sciences.


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