Project Description

The abundant eyes of a giant rock scallop (Crassadoma gigantea) are backed with tiny mirrors that reflect light, unlike our eyes that use lenses to bend and focus light.  The mirror in each eye has multiple layers to gather different wavelengths of light, and reflect that light onto a double-layered retina.  The many eyes located along the scallop’s mantle allow this animal to see pictures peripherally and centrally at the same time.

This scallop is large growing to about 10 inches (25 cm) across, and can live longer than 20 years.  Giant rock scallops have been harvested for food in the past by the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest.  If an empty shell is found a purple stain can be seen where the hinge was located.  The giant rock scallop has a range from northern Alaska to northern Mexico.