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.
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.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM