There are dozens of large species of bivalves on this coast.  Most if not all are edible and many are commercially exploited.  These potentials, combined with decreasing quality of natural habitats, have led to successful culture-industries for numerous species, including Manila clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops. 

NOTE  the English word “bivalve” originally meant “having two leaves or parts" (as a folding door) and is derived from a Latin word  meaning the same thing.  The English word “clam” derives from an older word meaning “to hold fast” or “a device to clasp rigidly or hold tight” (hence, clamp); only later was the term applied to burrowing marine bivalves

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ANIMATION of snail meeting CLAM
© 2010 Thomas Carefoot

To learn about west-coast CLAMS: select a topic from the clam menu at the top of the page

OR: play the ANIMATION of the snail meeting the CLAM

OR, if you want to see other animations: follow the snail on its ODYSSEY by CLICKING on any X-marked invertebrate on the map

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Phylum Mollusca (lit. “soft” or “shellfish” L.)

Class Bivalvia (lit. “two folding doors” L.), referring to the two parts of a clam or scallop shell joined by a flexible hinge

SubClass Heterodonta (lit. “different tooth” G.), referring to the different patterns of hinge teeth and ligaments that characterise the different families

Order Veneroida, containing the common large clams, as well as cockles; about 25 Families are represesented

Order Myoida, containing burrowing and boring bivalves, piddocks and shipworms, as well as geoducs Panopea spp.; about 5 Families are included 

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