Killer Clams?


The giant clam is native to the shallow coral
reefs of the South Pacific and Indian oceans,
and can weigh more than 400 pounds and
measure as much as 5 feet across. It can live more than 100 years.

As is often the case with uncharacteristically
large species, the giant clam has been
historically misunderstood. Known in times
past as the killer clam or man-eating clam,
reputable scientific and technical manuals
once claimed that the great mollusk had
caused deaths. Some versions of the U.S. Navy
Diving Manual
even gave detailed instructions
for releasing oneself from its grasp by
severing the adductor muscles used to close
its shell.

Today, it is generally acknowledged that the
giant clam is neither aggressive nor
particularly dangerous; while it is certainly
capable of holding one fast in its grip, the
shell's closing action is actually a defensive
response, and far too slow to pose any
reasonable threat. No account of a human
becoming trapped in this manner has ever
been substantiated.

(photo by Nick Hobgood, info from National Geographic and Wikipedia)

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