Clams in the Moreton bay area.

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Clams in the Moreton bay area.

Post  Guest on 16th December 2008, 9:58 am

In the Moreton bay area off Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island, we are very lucky to be able to see a variety of clams.
The most common species out here are, Tridacna Maxima, Tridacna Squamosa and a few Tridacna Crocea.

When we go out to have a look at the areas where they are quite common, there is a sizable Crocea in roughly six to eight feet of water at low tide that I have watched grow from when I first saw it about 7 years ago at around 6 inches in length.
It has roughly doubled in size since than, from the original 6 to about 12 inches in length and is mainly a cream colour with a little green here and there.

There are 6 clams that I like to have a look at, about 5 times a year we would go to these areas and it is quite interesting to watch their growth, the life comes and goes around them and how their colour alters as time goes on.
My favourite one was a blue squamosa, (as far as I know that is what it is), that I first saw as a thumb nail size at the clubs FR spot which is in some occasionally, very dangerous open ocean.
This little clam was in a very distinct spot in amongst one of many green zoanthid areas and it grew roughly at a rate of an inch or so a year.

This little clam started its life in 2 feet of water, as it is at low tide. The low tide in this spot remains at one level because the pool has a complete wall barrier around it so it does not empty.
From about three quarters of the tide going out it gets flow into it, after that, the ocean level is below it.

I first started watching it grow on a trip in 1988 when I first spotted it and for quite a while in recent times it has basically stayed at around 11 inches or so for years and reached a colour pattern similar to a blue green opal gemstone.
It was a beauty, though there were a lot others a similar size there and many others at other stages, some were so pretty and far better in colour, but this one just seems special, some how.
There is obviously not a very long life span in these bi valves, so I am sure one day this beautiful marine creature will not be alive for me to appreciate and admire its beauty and obvious strength, as for these creatures there are a lot of things that want to kill them.
Over the years I have seen some amazing coloured clams and have enjoyed watching them grow and how they grow.
About five years ago there was a massive amount of tiny, new purple clams start at SR and it was great to see all the new youngsters starting out.
On our last trip out there, I was trying to find a very brightly coloured clam for Danny to get a good photo of and I remembered a lovely 6 or 8 inch purple one at SR In only 6 or 8 feet of water.
We went about our snorkelling as I looked for it and when I found the rock formation that showed where it should be, there were three sets of empty shells, Infront of this very large octopus and its hole.
That was that, this thing had managed to kill three of them, you see this from time to time, it was just a shame that it got the purple one before we could get a picture of it.

The last time we went out to appreciate these creatures the conditions were very dangerous at FR and I very nearly didnít make it.
The swell was so dangerous, I was very foolish to have made the mistakes that I did that day and risked my life as I did
But that is the ocean for you, unbelievably beautiful and always trying to harm you if you get it wrong, as many creatures will try to do harm to you if you let them as well out there.

When you have observed the ocean for many years and I donít just mean the larger species of marine dwellers as most sports divers look for, you come to understand it is kill or be killed on all levels out there for marine creatures large and small and we go into that world, hopefully with our eyes open and our common sense switched on.
cheers

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