The shell of this clam is large and contains small wings, about 15 centimetres (5.9 in) to over 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length, but the very long siphons make the clam itself very much longer than this: the "neck" or siphons alone can be 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length.
|geoduck-Unique animal with shapes like a penis|
The unusual name of the clam is derived from a Lushootseed (Nisqually) word gʷídəq meaning "dig deep", and its phonemically counterintuitive spelling is likely the result of poor transcription rather than anything having to do with ducks. Alternate spellings include gweduc, gweduck, goeduck, and goiduck. It is sometimes known as the mud duck, king clam, or when translated literally from the Chinese characters 象拔蚌, the elephant trunk clam.
Native to the northwest coast of the United States and Canada (primarily Washington and British Columbia), the geoduck is the largest burrowing clam in the world, weighing in at an average of one to three pounds (0.5–1.5 kg) at maturity, but specimens weighing over 15 pounds (7.5 kg) and as much as 2 meters (over 6.5 ft) in length are not unheard of.
A related species, Panopea zelandica, is found in New Zealand and has been harvested commercially since 1989. The largest quantities have come from Golden Bay in the South Island where 100 tonnes were harvested in one year.
The world's first geoduck fishery was created in 1970, but demand for the half-forgotten clam was low due to its texture. Today, they sell in Asia for up to US$30/lb (US$65/kg). Its large, meaty siphon is prized for its savory flavor and crunchy texture. Geoduck is also regarded by some as an aphrodisiac.