In common with other species in the family Solemyidae, S. velesiana has a symbiosis with bacteria that live in its large gills.

These bacteria oxidise dissolved hydrogen sulphide from sediment water and convert it to carbohydrates. The nutrients are absorbed through the blood system of the bivalve.

Some Solemya species are so dependent on the symbiosis for their nutrition that they have lost their stomach and all of their gut.

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