Bivalvia (Clam, Mussel, Oyster)
Scientific Name: – Bivalvia
Bivalvia is a class of marine and freshwater molluscs that have laterally compressed bodies enclosed by a shell consisting of two hinged parts. They have no head, and they also lack a radula. Bivalves include clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops, and numerous other families that live in saltwater, and well as a number of families that live in freshwater. The majority are filter feeders. The gills have evolved into ctenidia, specialised organs for feeding and breathing. Most bivalves bury themselves in sediment, where they are relatively safe from predation. Others lie on the sea floor or attach themselves to rocks or other hard surfaces. A few bore into wood, clay or stone and live inside these substances. Some bivalves, such as the scallops, can swim.
The shell of a bivalve is composed of calcium carbonate, and consists of two, usually similar, parts called valves. These are joined together along one edge (the hinge line) by a flexible ligament that, usually in conjunction with interlocking “teeth” on each of the valves, forms the hinge. This arrangement allows the shell to be opened and closed without the two halves becoming disarticulated. The shell is typically bilaterally symmetrical, with the hinge lying in the sagittal plane. Adult shell sizes of bivalves vary from fractions of a millimetre to over a metre in length, but the majority of species do not exceed 10 cm (4 in).