www.whyville.net Jun 5, 2004 Weekly Issue

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Clams Clams Clams

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Mmmmm, I sure do love clams. Dipped in butter, maybe ketchup, who cares? Clams are good no matter what way you eat them. On second thought... after my science class dissected them, I totally lost my appetite!

Here's what I learned in class:

Clams are mostly just masses of body tissue. Yes, they do have a head and a foot, which is made out of body tissue. Clams also have a digestive system, reproductive system, nervous system, and a closed circulatory system. A closed circulatory system is when blood is pumped through veins, like in humans.

You probably already know that a clam has a shell, but how does it move in that shell? Clams have a special foot. The foot is just made up of a ton of body tissue. It's used like you use a row in a boat. The clam pushes itself with the foot.

If you eat clams, the foot is usually the really chewy part. =P

Scientists refer to the clam as a bivalve. This means that the clam has two (bi-) shells (valve). It has an inner shell and an outer shell. The inner shell is basically made up of super strong muscle. The muscles connect the outer shell to the rest of the body, and hold it closed. That's why most clams are really hard to pry open.

Clams also have another fascinating part. It's called the radula. The radula is almost like a tongue. It's used to scrape food off of plants and rocks. The radula also helps break down food that the clam eats. Snails have a radula too.

Here are some fun facts about the clam:

* Its biggest predator is the starfish.
* They need a male clam and a female clam in order to reproduce.
* They have a soft, fleshy body.
* They have a heart.
* Shortly after they are first born, clams ride fish until they are old enough to survive on their own.

So there you have it. I know it doesn't sound too gross the way I explained things, but when you really dissect them, it gets pretty bad.

This is hottiemb, not going into details. ;)


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