Nature is full of wonders and it is for humans to find out the intricacies of even the tiniest of creatures living in different parts of the world, some on land, some in water while others in the air among trees and bushes. Clams are one of the sea creatures that are not however available everywhere but offers unique health benefits.
Fact 1 What Are Clams?
Clams are the bivalve mollusks that actually live in the sea waters and dig homes for themselves in the sand. There are numerous varieties of clams but the most popular are the ones that are dug out from the sandy coastal areas that have a cold climate. They are invertebrates but are carnivores and feed on the sea animals and smaller living creatures they find under water.
Fact 2 Description Of Clams
Clams have two hinged shells that they use to food. They are mostly found buried in sand in the shallow areas of salt water as well as fresh water. These mollusks do not have a brain but are ingenious creatures and can dig about 1 inch within just a second. There are various sizes and the most common ones that are cultivated and used for commercial purposes are the giant clams. They grow between 4 ft to 6 ft and weigh more than 440lbs. They live for nearly 100 years and it is a fact that two giant clams do not have the same color of their shells. Moreover, the shells of the clams vary in shape according to their species such as oval, rectangular, round or elongated. The clams have a siphon that they use
Fact 3 Types And Characteristics Of Clams
Cams are generally found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. Although some people think that the giant clams can harm humans, there are no such evidences found as yet. Rather the largest clams retreat into their shells as soon as they are touched. There are namely 3 types of clams and they are named according to the regions they are found. Threy vary in sizes only. The most common ones are the:
1. Soft-shelled clams – These have elongated shells which are extremely brittle because they are thin. They have large hanging necks and are found on the West Coast and North Virginia from Maine. They are called by local names like Ispwich, Steamer, Longneck and others.
2. Hard Clams – These are so called because their shells are hard and are locally known as Quahogs. They come in various sizes like chowders, cherrystone, top necks and little necks. They are found along the Gulf and East Coasts. Along the West Coast, you will get the Manila and little necks as they are named.
3. Surf Clams – These are also known as Beach, Skimmer, Bar Clam or Giant and are available around Maine to South Carolina. These clams have a smooth texture and the tan color of the oval-shaped shells is also interesting.
Fact 4 Food Habits
Clams are popular delicacies especially for their chewy texture. The giant clams grow into enormous sizes because of their food habits. They consume the proteins and sugars present in the algae which are many years old. These clams are safe homes for these algae on which they feed and the algae reach out to the sunlight for photosynthesis with the help of these clams which open their flute-shaped shells and the multi-colored mantles for exposure to sunlight.
Fact 5 Health Benefits
Fresh clams are not only tasty but have great nutritional value. They are high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, potassium but low in fat and calories. They are good for treating liver disorders, cancers, diabetes and other serious ailments.