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One Very Confused Bivalve: The Giant Rock Scallop

Posted by Jody on February 2, 2012

The Giant Rock Scallop (Crassedoma giganteum, formerly known as Hinnites Giganteus) is one very confused bivalve!  Often referred to as the Purple-hinged Rock Scallop, or even just Rock Scallop, this sturdy beach treasure begins life as a free swimming scallop.  When the juvenile scallop reaches a diameter of 1 – 2 inches, it attaches itself to a rock, or other hard surface, and becomes immobile. From then on, it lives more like an oyster than a scallop, growing into an irregular, oblong shape.

These interesting marine mollusks can be found as far north as the Aleutian Islands but are most commonly found on the Pacific Coast of North America from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico. They live on rocks, in moderately shallow water from the low tide line to 160+ feet deep. With a life expectancy of more than 25 years, the giant rock scallop can grow to over 10 inches in diameter. Older giant rock scallops have very heavy, thick shells.

Giant Rock Scallop, Bolinas, California

The rich, dark purple coloring on the interior of the shell along the hinge is an obvious identifier.  Look closely at the photo above, and you can see the telltale scallop shape at the base of the shell (near the hinge). Cool, huh?

Giant Rock Scallop ~ My New Soap Dish

The giant rock scallop shell is a really fun find. This is the type of seashell that is large enough to be enjoyed everyday as a soap dish or ring holder at the side of the sink or as a coin holder on your dresser.  Have some fun displaying your beach treasures!

Happy beachcombing!

“I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed.” ~ Robert Frost

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3 Responses to “One Very Confused Bivalve: The Giant Rock Scallop”

  1. Lauren said

    Hi my name is Lauren. I just randomly found this awesome website. I clicked on a picture of green and blue glass orbs w nets around them. I am very curios as to what they are. I was passed down green and blue antique glass orbs exactly like that and I nor my grandmother know what they are. Please email me. Link to any info would be great!
    thanx a million!

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