Animals > No Backbone (Invertebrate) > Clams, Oysters, Mussels and Scallops (Bivalvia)
Kingdom > Phylum > Class
Where They Live (Range and Habitat): Clams, Oysters, Mussels and Scallops live in water (aquatic habitats). They are found in both saltwater (marine) and freshwater habitats.
What Their Body is Like (Anatomy): They have two flattened shells connected by a hinge – called the ligament. The shells are kept closed by powerful muscles. This protects them from predators. They have a powerful muscular "foot" they use to attach to rocks, piers or the bottom of boats. They can also use their foot to dig into the sand. Some can snap their shells shut to shoot out water and move away from predators.
Clams use their foot to burrow into the sandy bottom.
Scallops use their foot to burrow into the sandy bottom. They also use it to move their shells in a “clap” pushing them though the water as needed.
Mussels use their foot to anchor to rocks. They have gills for breathing. They have a kind of straw (called a siphon) that pulls in fresh water and oxygen to their hills. They have no head or brain, but three nerve centers (or ganglia) around their body.
What They Eat: Clams, Oysters, Mussels and Scallops feed by filtering food particles out of the water. They do this by pulling in water through their siphon over the gills. This traps the food and sends it to the mouth.
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Amsel, Sheri. "Clams, Oysters, Mussels and Scallops (Bivalve Group)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2022. August 16, 2022
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