Animals & Exhibits    >    Animal Guide    >    Invertebrates    >   

Geoduck clam

Geoduck clam

Not on Exhibit

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Panopea generosa

  • Animal Type


  • Diet

    drifting food particles

  • Size

    shell up to about 6 inches (15 cm) long

  • Relatives

    clams, scallops, oysters, mussels

Natural History

Clams do have differences: they all burrow, but long-necked ones like the geoduck sink lower than their short-necked kin. Staying buried in mud is safer than living exposed on the mud's surface. It's a soft life if you can eat, breathe and reproduce. Clams manage by sticking their necks out. Through the neck, or siphon, a clam sucks in food and water and sends out eggs or sperm. At ebb tide, clams pull in their siphons. If you visit a slough, look for telltale holes in the mud.


Many kinds of plants, birds, fish, shellfish and other animals depend on the special mix of fresh and salt water found in sloughs and estuaries. When we protect wetlands against development, we protect the homes of many animals.

Cool Facts

The geoduck is the largest and deepest burrowing clam in California. "Geoduck" is believed to be derived from a Nisqually Indian phrase meaning "big deep."

 Animal Guide Home