Project Description

The Giant Clam

The Giant Clam (Tridacna gigas) is the largest and heaviest shelled mollusk alive in the world today. This collossus of the sea can live an average of 100 years and may be found in the southwest Pacific on coral reefs, at depths from 1 to 30 feet of water. This specimen is 39 inches long; its shell and interior meat weighed nearly 500 pounds.     

Expert Describes 500-Pound Clam But It Doesn’t Eat Men 

From the January 13, 1959 issue of the Journal Every Evening (The News Journal)

Dr. R. Tucker Abbott, then the curator of mollusks at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, and later the first curator of mollusks at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, spoke about a shell-collecting expedition to the Philippines at a meeting of the Society of Natural History of Delaware. One of the specimens collected on the expedition was the giant clam now on exhibit at DMNH.


In 2016, the Giant Clam specimen returned to the Hall of Mollusks after being out of the gallery for two years for renovation to its stand