Like fish, bivalve mollusks breathe by way of their gills. As filter feeders, bivalves collect meals by way of their gills. Some bivalves have a pointed, retractable “foot” that protrudes from the shell and digs into the encircling sediment, successfully enabling the creature to maneuver or burrow.
Bivalves even make their very own shells. An inside organ known as the mantle secretes calcium carbonate in order that because the inside invertebrate grows, the outer shell supplies a roomier house.
Many bivalve species play vital roles in aquatic and marine ecosystems by filtering the water and serving as habitat and prey for quite a lot of sea life. This various group of species, estimated at about 9,200, inhabits just about the complete world ocean, from the balmy tropics to the sub-zero Arctic, and from the deep ocean to sandy and rocky shorelines. Just a few have even taken up residence round hydrothermal vents discovered deep within the Pacific Ocean, under 13,000 toes.
If the bivalve’s organic brilliance alone fails to impress, then contemplate that NOAA estimated the 2011 financial worth of economic bivalve mollusk harvesting at about $1 billion yearly within the U.S., and the burden of the harvest was estimated at 153.6 million kilos.