Rescuing a Different Kind of “Gentle Giant” (Video)

Written by on March 18, 2015 in Editor's Choice, Marine Life

Over 37,000 Middle Schoolers Select Film Contest Winners
3rd Place: Rescuing the Gentle Giants

The Ocean 180 Video Challenge is an annual contest that encourages scientists to create and share three-minute (180-second) videos about their published ocean research. The contest is designed to inspire scientists to share the significance and relevance of their research with a bigger audience, focusing on what the research means for the non-scientific community.

Ten finalists were selected by the Wave 1 Judging team, a panel of science and communication experts. Four winners were then selected by the Student Judging Team, which was comprised of 37,795 middle school students from 1,600 classrooms in 21 countries. Each of the four winners will be awarded a portion of a $9,000 prize package to “honor their work in communicating science to the public.” The videos were judged based on creativity, message, and educational value.

Screen shot of a giant clam, Tridacna maxima, in Aitutaki lagoon (Cook Islands) from Rescuing the Gentle Giants.

Screen shot of a giant clam, Tridacna maxima, in Aitutaki lagoon (Cook Islands) from Rescuing the Gentle Giants.

The third place winner, Rescuing the Gentle Giants (below), is a film about functionally extinct giant clams, Tridacna maxima, in the Aitutaki lagoon (Cook Islands).

The giant clams in this lagoon are categorized as functionally extinct, which means that while there are still a few individuals left, they are too far apart for reproduction to occur. One possible solution is to raise giant clams in hatcheries until they are old enough to survive on their own, and then transplant them to new locations in the lagoon. This method is explored in a paper published in the April 2013 issue of Biological Conservation (A methodology for recruiting a giant clam, Tridacna maxima, directly to natural substrata: A first step in reversing functional extinctions?), and explained in detail in the video below.

Copyright © 2015 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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