Cerastoderma edule is a marine bivalve in the family, Cardiiae, of the order, Veneroida.
Cerastoderma edule
Cerastoderma edule
Nickname: Common cockle
Description: Cerastoderma edule is a species of edible saltwater clam. The common cockle is one of the most abundant species of mollusks in tidal flats in European bays. It has a single foot and umbones, or beaks of the shell. Along with an exhalant siphon, it also owns an inhalant siphon. Siphons are tube-like structures in which water and air flow to assist with actions, such as respiration, feeding and reproduction. The mantle of the cockle holds the siphon.

Cerastoderma edule can jump up to 5 inches, in an attempt to avoid predators. It performs the jump by extending its leg outside of its shell and then contracting. The previously mentioned predators are identified by the antennae and eyes around the mantle. The common cockle is most likely found with the opening of its shell facing upwards, so to allow its eyes and antennae to extend.

Habitat: This species is found in coastal areas of Atlantic Ocean to the east. Cerastoderma edule can be found in Norway and the West African coast.

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Niche: It serves as prey for crustaceans, fish and some birds. Several European countries partake in the farming of these creatures for food. Other than getting eaten, it can acquire food by filtering water when it opens and closes its shell. Plankton are its main source of food.

Reproduction: Clams reproduce by spawning, releasing sperm and eggs into the water to fertilize each other. This happens generally in the mid-summer when plankton is abundant. Some have been recorded as reaching 60 million eggs spawned in one season. Spawning can last for months continuously. The larvae is produced after cellular divisions that occur. Interestingly enough, they are capable of changing gender with age, but that will happen later as they mature. As larvae, they swim towards light and concentrate on the surface. Eventually, after metamorphosis into the juvenile stage, it sinks back to the water's floor and secretes a calcium carbonate shell when it digs into the mud with its foot.

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