Sea Clams

Name

Sea Clams (Bivalvia)

Size

Sea clams can measure up to 1.2 m.

Identification

Sea clams have to sides identical to one another, held together by a hinge and ligament. The edge which opens can be a straight, zig-zag or S-shape. The shells are camouflaged by organic growths and predominantly light brown or black in colour.

General Information

Sea clams belong to the Bivalvia class which comprises of more than 30 000 species, including clams, scallops, oyster and mussels. Bivalves are bilaterally symmetrical, which means that the halves are identical. Some sea clams are covered by the sand, others live on the substrate and only a few of the species can swim. Sea clams are edible, most of what are its gonads or reproductive cells. They are pelagic spawners, very few of which brood their eggs.

Diet

Sea clams feed on plankton by means of filter feeding.

Distribution

They can be found in oceans across the world.

Common Species

Giant clam (Tridacna maxima)
Thorny oyster (Spondylus sp.)
Zig zag oyster (Lopha folium)

© Johan Boshoff