Q:

How do clams move?

A:

Quick Answer

Clams that move do so by projecting a “foot,” which is a muscular, fleshy organ that can easily be projected from between the clams' two shells. Physically speaking, however, clams have no legs, arms, mouths or heads.

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Full Answer

The shells of clams are opened via two strong muscles and are needed because clams themselves have soft bodies. Despite not having legs or arms, clams still have hearts and blood vessels. Clams also have gills, which are used for removing not only oxygen but also food particles from water. This is why clams don't require mouths to eat.

The foot is not the only thing that clams extend out past their shells. To both breathe and feed, clams have to stick the ends of their siphons outside of their shells. Food is drawn into the clams' bodies by using cilia, which stir up water and make small currents. At this point, the food is passed throughout the clams' digestive systems, and the excess water is forced back out through the siphons.

Both little-neck and hard-shell clams are often referred to as quahogs. This was a name given to them by the Narraganset Indians. They are traditionally found along the Gulf of Mexico and on the Atlantic coast.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do clams live?

    A:

    Clams live in both salt water and fresh water. Most clams are found in shallow water in areas that are muddy or sandy. However, there is a particular species known as Abra profundorum, which can be found in the Pacific Ocean at depths of up to 16,000 feet.

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  • Q:

    How long do clams live?

    A:

    Of the 15,000 species of bivalves known as clams, some have life cycles of only one year. Individuals of one species called the ocean quahog, or Arctica islandica, however, are among the oldest living animals on Earth, with one captured specimen measured to be more than 500 years of age.

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  • Q:

    How do clams reproduce?

    A:

    Clams reproduce by releasing gametes, or eggs and sperm, into the water. Male and female clams have no direct contact. The clams are prompted to reproduce by changes in the water's temperature and pH. In the quahog clam, spawning usually happens during neap tides, which is the lowest point of a high tide.

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    How does an octopus move?

    A:

    An octopus uses several methods to move through the ocean. An octopus in a hurry uses jet propulsion by rapidly contracting its water-filled mantle, the muscular sac that encloses its gills and body organs. The contracting mantle forces water rapidly through a funnel at its base, propelling the octopus in the opposite direction. Slower movement is achieved by using all eight limbs to maneuver along the sea bottom or around obstacles.

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