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9 September 2009

© Franklin J. Viola and The Nature Conservancy 2009  All Rights Reserved.

Tridacna Clam Mantle / Palmyra Atoll

Tridacna clams have hundreds of 'eyes' along the edges
of their siphonal tissue or 'mantle'.
 As well as detecting shadows to warn the clam of potential predators,
these eyes are sensitive to green, blue, and ultraviolet light.
This helps the Tridacna clam to better position itself toward sunlight
to expose as much zooxanthellae algae as possible.

Zooxanthellae transform carbon dioxide and dissolved nitrogen into
carbohydrates, glucose and amino acids for their host clam.
With sufficient sunlight, zooxanthellae can provide all of the
respiratory carbon requirements of a Tridacna clam.

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