Architecture of crossed-lamellar bivalve shells: the southern giant clam (Tridacna derasa, Röding, 1798)

O. B. A. Agbaje, R. Wirth, L. F. G. Morales, K. Shirai, M. Kosnik, T. Watanabe, D. E. Jacob*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)
    55 Downloads (Pure)


    Tridacna derasa shells show a crossed lamellar microstructure consisting of three hierarchical lamellar structural orders. The mineral part is intimately intergrown with 0.9 wt% organics, namely polysaccharides, glycosylated and unglycosylated proteins and lipids, identified by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. Transmission electron microscopy shows nanometre-sized grains with irregular grain boundaries and abundant voids. Twinning is observed across all spatial scales and results in a spread of the crystal orientation angles. Electron backscatter diffraction analysis shows a strong fibre texture with the [001] axes of aragonite aligned radially to the shell surface. The aragonitic [100] and [010] axes are oriented randomly around [001]. The random orientation of anisotropic crystallographic directions in this plane reduces anisotropy of the Young’s modulus and adds to the optimization of mechanical properties of bivalve shells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number170622
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalRoyal Society Open Science
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • aragonite
    • bivalvia
    • electron backscatter diffraction
    • transmission electron microscopy
    • tridacnidae
    • Young’s modulus


    Dive into the research topics of 'Architecture of crossed-lamellar bivalve shells: the southern giant clam (Tridacna derasa, Röding, 1798)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this