You may have heard that there is a global bleaching event currently affecting coral reefs.
BUT did you know this event also affects giant clams (Tridacnids)? Just look at this comparison below, can you guess which one is bleached?
All giant clams contain symbiotic algae within their skin. These algae (zooanthellae) use sunlight for energy to produce food. This is then shared with their giant clam host, the clam gets extra energy and the algae get a nice home. If the sea temperature gets too warm, (as it is now) the giant clam becomes stressed and loses some or all of the helpful algae. The clam becomes pale in colour and this is called bleaching. This means the giant clam gets less food and over time may die. If the water temperature cools down it is possible for the algae to move back into the giant clam. We are monitoring our coral reefs and all of the organisms living here during this bleaching event. Lets hope the sea cools down soon!
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