Happy as a Clam!... or Oyster?

Topics: Bivalvia, Oyster, Mollusca Pages: 2 (621 words) Published: February 7, 2013
Mark Tigno
Oyster/clam compare-contrast

Oysters and clams are often considered to be the same thing but there are many differences between these two. They both belong to the mollusk class and are bivalves with a stomach, mantle, cilia and mouths and can be found in fresh or salt water, they’re many differences as well morphology, anatomy and uses. A bivalve is an animal that has two hinged symmetrically shaped shells; these shells are made of calcium carbonate and are both filter feeders. Although the shells serve the same purpose on both species there is a distinct difference of shape, size, texture and color. The clamshell is round and usually uniform in shape and size. Most clams tend have smooth, gentle texture with a gray color tinted with blues, reds and greens through out its shell. The mighty oyster on the other hand, differs in size and shape dramatically. Unlike the clam, oyster shells are much more aggressive; sharp and jagged, round or long banana shaped with a flat or deep cup and tend to be solid gray, brown, white or green. Some oysters can produce pearls, try and have a clam pull that trick out of its shell. Because oysters spend almost there entire life in one place you will notice barnacles, seaweed and allgie growing on the shells witch you wouldn’t typically find on clams. Clams have what is called a foot, this foot is a muscle that gives it the ability to become mobile, the foot also allows itself to dig in the mud and create what is called a bed. The oyster has a foot but only for a few weeks, in its first stages of life, and doesn’t use it in the same way as the clam. Instead of walking with it, it uses the foot to swim until it finds a suitable, safe spot to anchor itself and stays there for its entire life. Even though the two shares the same diet “plankton”, both bivalves and filter feed, the action of the filtering is completely different. The oyster sucks in about four gallons of water per hour allowing the water to...
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