Beautiful animals. I’m not so sure about the feeding mode description at around 1:01 where she says they “skim a little algae off the top for a midnight snack”; thats one of those oversimplifications that really loses the truth. I’m pretty sure they don’t digest their symbionts, just absorb some of the carbs produced by their photosynthesis. Its also a bit disappointing for NG to show someone lifting one up – they’re best left alone, don’t you think?
I agree, I actually did a double take after I saw the diver lift the clam. Rick Macpherson would shit a calcareous brick.
Its not active farming by the giant clams, so it is a little irresponsible to say “skim a little algae off the top” they get a boost from their metabolites, though they still retain the ability to filter-feed, which is an important nutrient source in younger clams (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0022-0981(92)90030-E).
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One of the best summers I ever had was picking predatory drupes off giant clams at a community aquaculture facility in Western Samoa. Lunch was a sort of catch-your-own samoan ceviche, and climb a coconut tree if you want a drink. It was awesome.