7 Facts About the Maxima Clam

1. The Maxima Clam is found throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

2. They are one of the smallest species of the giant clam family reaching an average length of about 12 inches in length. Compared to the Tridacna gigas – or commonly known as The Giant Clam – of which the largest specimen recorded was over 4 and a half feet in length and weighed ~550 lbs.

3. Maxima Clams have 2 interesting elements when it comes to external fertilization: 1.) They are hermaphrodites so they produce both eggs and sperm and 2.) They are cemented to the coral reef so they can only reproduce with other maxima clams that are in close vicinity to where they are attached to the reef.

RevolverOcelot, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fertilization occurs in the water column – since they are not able to self-fertilize. Since this species was over hunted for the last several centuries for various reasons, the aquarium/aquaculture industry stepped in and they are now farmed on a mass scale – both in the ocean as well as in captivity or in a closed system. To learn more about how to aquaculture this species, check out the full aquaculture guide here: How to Aquaculture Tridacna Clams

4. The Maxima Clam has become one of the most popular of the Tridacna Clams in the aquarium industry due to the unique colors and patterns of their mantles. They come in many different color and pattern varieties.

5. In order to feed, they siphon water through their body where it is then filtered in order to extract phytoplankton from the water column. It also extracts oxygen from the water with it’s gills using this same method.

6. While it is a filter feeder, the Maxima Clam gets most of it’s nutrients photosynthetically through zooxanthellae.

7. The Maxima Clam can have a lifespan of up to 200 years.

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