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Index of flora
Index of fauna
SYMBIOSIS: Living Together—Mutualism

Photo by Tan Bee HongGiant Clam
Tridacna squamosa
Family Tridacnidea

There are two common species locally, free-living T. squamosa, and the rock-boring T. crocea. These bivalves can grow to large sizes (width up to 90cm) on coral reefs, usually in clear waters.

The mantle (soft tissue) within the shell is brightly coloured brown, blue and/or green. This is due to the microscopic algae known as zooxanthellae living inside the tissues which photosynthesise (manufacture food) from sunlight and the waste metabolic products of the clam. They are then "harvested" by the clam as supplementary food. Despite being "farmed" this way, the algae are assured of a safe "residence" and a continued supply of nutrients. The clam is beginning to grow in importance as a food organism, and ongoing attempts are being made to cultivate it.

Shore environment
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP

@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre