breadcrumb Field Guide: Food Web - Animals: Geoduck clams

Food Web

Animals: Geoduck clams

Geoduck clams

Geoduck clams

The geoduck (“gooey-duck”) clam inhabits the waters from Alaska to the Gulf of California. They bury themselves up to three feet deep in mud, silt, and gravel bottoms. Their name comes from Native American words “gwe-duk,”  which mean “dig deep.” Geoducks have a "foot" that digs them into sand or mud and they stay in that spot for their entire lives.

Most of a geoduck sticks outside the little shell as a very long neck, with two holes at the end like an elephant’s trunk. This neck pokes out of the geoduck burrow to pull in phytoplankton—tiny marine plants—for meals.

Geoduck clams

Geoducks are wedged very tightly in the deep burrows so otters, fish, and other predators  can’t dislodge them.

Geoducks and other types of clams like oysters are bivalve mollusks.
Shellfish like geoducks help filter and clean water.

In the U.S., geoducks grow in the wild from Alaska to the Gulf of California. This clam is also farmed in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

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