The Maxima Clam (Tridacna maxima) is a marine (saltwater) bivalve mollusc in the Cardiidae family. It is also called the Small Giant Clam. It is related to the Cockle.
The Maxima Clam has a thick shell called a mantle. Its shell is actually two equal-sized calcareous valves connected with a flexible adductor muscle. The shell can open and close. Bi-valve means two valves (or two shells). The mantle is bright-blue, green, or brown with distinctive furrows. It has a mouth, a heart, kidneys, a stomach, and a nervous system.
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The Florida Horse Conch (Triplofusus papillosus) is a large tropical marine (saltwater) gastropod mollusc in the Fasciolariidae family of sea spindle snails and tulip snails. It is not a true conch shell from the Strombidae family of sea snails.
The Florida Horse Conch is greyish-white or brownish with a light-brown or dark-brown periostracum, which is the thin coating on its shell. It has a long siphonal canal and up to 10 whorls around its shell. It can retract the soft part of its body entirely into its shell and close the operculum (lid). The soft part of its body is bright orange.
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The Dog Whelk Sea Snail (Nucella lapillus) is a marine (saltwater) mollusc gastropod in the Muricidae family of rock sea snails. It is also called the Atlantic Dogwinkle.
The Dog Whelk is usually whitish-grey, but it can be a variety of colours, such as orange, yellow, brown, black, or banded. It has a hard, external shell, called an exo-skeleton, that is smooth with a pointed spire. It has a short, straight siphon canal. The shell shape varies, depending upon the tidal waves, but it is usually rounded and spirally corded. Most of its body is made of whorls. The aperture (hole or lip) is quite wide.
The Dog Whelk, like other Sea Snails, has a single auricle (chamber) in its heart, and a single pair of gill slits for breathing.
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The Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate (soft-bodied) mollusc in the Octopodidae family. Octopod means eight limbs. It is a cephalopod, related to the squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus.
The Common Octopus has a soft hollow body called a mantle. Its body can change shape and squeeze into small gaps. The mantle has gills (to breath), a brain, and a parrot-beaked mouth. Surrounding the mouth is eight limbs with suckers. It has two large eyes with excellent sight. It has three hearts.
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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.
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The Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is a large, marine invertebrate (soft-bodied) mollusc in the Octopoda order. Octopoda means eight limbs. It is a cephalopod, related to the squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus.
The Octopus has a greyish, soft hollow body called a mantle. Its body can change shape and squeeze into small gaps. The mantle has gills (to breath), a brain, and a parrot-beaked mouth. Surrounding the mouth is eight limbs with suckers. It has two large eyes with excellent sight.
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What is the difference between a clam, a cockle, a mussel, and a scallop?
The clam, cockle, mussel, scallop, and even the oyster, are all marine bivalve molluscs. Bivalve means two valves.
They all have a shell structure, called a mantle, with two valves (two halves) and a ligament hinge with two adductor muscles that enable them to open and close.
All bivalves have light-sensitive cells that can detect light and motion, even though most do not have eyes. Giant clams have simple eyes on the edge of the mantle. Scallops have more complex eyes on the edge of the mantle – they have 10-100 eyes that each have a lens, a two-layered retina, and a concave mirror.
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The Cockle (Cerastoderma edule) is a small marine (saltwater) bivalve mollusc. It is also called a Clam, but it is not a true clam (a true clam does not live near the bottom of the ocean).
The Cockle has a white-creamy-yellowish-brown oval-shaped shell, called a mantle, with bilateral symmetry – its two valves are the same – connected by two hinge-type adductor muscles that enable it to open and close. The mantle has many slight ridges, called ribs. It has a foot which helps it to bury itself in the ocean floor.
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