Australia’s northwest coastline is a stunning stretch of wilderness. Look beyond the shore and into the water, and you’ll find more stunning sights, including Pinctada maxima, the Silver-Lipped Pearl Oyster.

These bivalves are the largest pearl oysters in the world. They have a very strong inner shell layer composed of nacre, also known as “mother of pearl”. They are important in the cultured pearl industry as they are used to produce South Sea pearls.

…the most valuable pearls on Earth. Learn more about them in this video from National Geographic’s Secret Life of Pearls: Formation of a Pearl.

Next: A pacific razor clam burrows rapidly into the sand.

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