Soft-Shell Clam

The Soft-Shell Clam (Mya arenaria) is a marine (saltwater) bivalve mollusc in the Myidae family. It is also known as the Sand Gaper.

The Soft-Shell Clam has an elongated calcium carbonate shell that is thin and fragile (beach clams have thicker shells). The shell is called a mantle. It has two valves (two halves), joined together by a ligament hinge with two adductor muscles that enable it to open and close. It has paired siphons which helps it to breathe when it is under the mud. It has light-sensitive cells that can detect light and motion.

Soft-Shell Clam

It is common is the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean. It also lives in the Mediterranean Sea. It lives in shallow tidal flats. It prefers muddy or sandy sea beds.

It is a filter feeder that sifts water over its valves to eat plankton in the water. 

It is not attached to any organism or substrate. It can move along the sea bed or in the water. 

Soft-Shell Clam

Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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