Posts from the ‘Hard Shell’ Category

How does a clam make its shell?

If you have ever examined a clam shell, you may have wondered how the shell got bigger as the clam grew.  A clam is born with a shell just the right size for its body.  Inside the protecting shell of the living animal is a fleshy layer of tissue called the “mantle.”

The mantle oozes a limy shell liquid which quickly hardens and becomes part of the shell.  As long as a clam grows, its shell also grows.  The food that a clam eats provides the minerals that form the shell.  The hard shell serves as a clam’s skeleton, and the soft animal inside can never leave it.–Dick Rogers

How does an octopus eat?

Octopus

The octopus has a powerful parrot-like beak in its mouth that it uses to crack the hard shells or crass and oysters.

The octopus is a sea animal with a soft, bag-shaped body.  It gets its name from two Greek words that mean “eight feet.”  We call its eight feet “arms.”

The octopus dwells on the ocean bottom where it crawls about on its arms, searching in every crack and crevice for its favorite food of shrimp, crab, and mussels.

On each of the eight arms there are two rows of cup-like suckers which help the octopus grab and hold very tightly to anything it catches.

The arms do not squeeze and prey, but pull it toward the creature’s mouth.

An octopus has two very strong jaws that look like the beak of parrot.  It uses its jaws to crush crab shells and to tear apart the food it eats.

The long, snakelike arms and large, unwinking, strangely human eyes give it a frightening look.  Most kinds of octopus are only about as big as a man’s fist, and do not attack people.

Some however, have poisoned jaws and bites from even a small octopus. – Dick Rogers

How do a clam eat?

A clam gets its food from the water.  Food enters by way of the clam’s siphon or “neck.”

A clam is an animal whose soft body is protected by two hard shells that close over it like the covers of a book.  There are many kinds of clams, in many parts of the world.  Some clams lives on the bottoms of oceans, others live on the muddy bottoms of lakes and streams.

Clams called soft-shell clams live buried in the sand along seashores.  They are sometimes called “longneck” clams since they have a long siphon which people call a “neck.”

Clam

When the tide covers the sand the soft-shell clam opens up its shell and pushes its long siphon up through the sand to the water above.  It sucks water into its body and digests the tiny plants and other food particles it finds in the water.

When the tidies out, the clam pulls in its siphon.  This causes a little spurt of water which shows someone who is hunting clams where the clam is hidden.

The American Indians taught the Pilgrims how to dig clams along the beach.  Today a favorite picnic in many towns along the seashore is the clambake. – Dick Rogers

How does a turtle get into its shell?

Turtle

Everyone knows a turtle when he sees one.  Turtles are easy to recognize by their shells.  A baby turtle is born with a shell just the right size for its body.  As the turtle grows, its shell grows too.

The hard shells of most turtles are made up of a “bony box”  covered by horny plates.  A turtle can’t crawl out of its shell.  The shell makes up much of a turtle’s skeleton, and is firmly attached to its body.  Turtles are well-protected by their shells.  Some turtles, such as the box turtle, can pull their heads, tails, and legs into their shell when frightened.  Then, very few enemies can get at them.

All turtles hatch from eggs.  The mother turtle lays the eggs in a hole she has dug.  She then leaves them.  The sun’s warmth hatches the eggs in about two months.  As soon as the baby turtles are hatched, they are on their own.  They must be able to tend for themselves. – Dick Rogers