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Mantle of the giant clam (Hippopus hippopus)

Mantle of the giant clam (Hippopus hippopus)
This is a photo of the surface of the giant clam which shows special reflective cells and dark algal cells. The giant clam has a special relationship with algae which live inside it's tissue. The algae undergo photosynthesis and then send sugar to the clam. Over time, giant clams created special cells which send the right amounts of light to the algae, which enabled the algae to live deep inside the tissue and work more efficiently. As a result, these cells look shiny and reflective.


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