King Scallop

Pecten maximus
King Scallop

Habitat: Sandy sea floor
Depth: 15-35m
Food: Plankton and detritus
Length: 17cm across
Lifespan: Unknown
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated (NE)

This bivalve (two-shelled) mollusc spends its time resting in a hollow on the sandy sea bed. The two shells, one bowl shaped and one flat like a lid, have radiating ridges and are held open for the soft animal inside to feed, straining out tiny plankton or dead animal matter from the water. Many eyes around the edge of the shell allow the animal to detect changes in light. If threatened, the scallop can swim away quickly by clapping the two shells together to create a water jet.

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