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Category: Invertebrates



“Clam” is an informal name that refers to bivalves (such as oysters, scallops, mussels, cockles, clams, and numerous other families that can live in both fresh and saltwater environments. Most are filter feeders and have a shell consisting of two calcareous halves attached via a flexible ligament along a hinge line. Most are sedentary but some bivalves, such as scallops, are able to “swim” by opening and closing their valves rapidly. There are around 9200 named species of living bivalves and accompanying such a large number is an amazing diversity of forms, behavior, and other adaptations. Bivalves have historically been a very important part of the diet of coastal human populations.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Mollusca
Class - Bivalvia

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Interesting Animal Facts

The world’s first Animals

Invertebrates were the first animals to evolve. While their soft bodies left precious few records behind, there are fossils of sponge-like animals that are 665 million years old, as well as traces of tracks and burros from worm-like animals going back 1 billion years. By comparison, the earliest birds appeared only 150 million years ago! And not only were invertebrates first, they are the most plentiful of animals - it is estimated that 97% of all animals living on the Earth today are invertebrates, with several groups containing more species than all vertebrates combined!

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