Rice, Michael A. Department of Fish, Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island.
Last reviewed:May 2020
Show previous versions
- Anatomy and physiology
- Reproduction and development
- Economic importance
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
One of the main extant classes in the phylum Mollusca. Members of the molluscan class Bivalvia (formerly, Pelecypoda) are known commonly as bivalves and include clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops. All bivalves are aquatic, living at all depths of the sea and in brackish waters and freshwaters (Fig. 1). With more than 9000 living species, Bivalvia has a rich molluscan species diversity. Moreover, the total biomass of extant bivalves is quite great, with certain bivalve species being numerically dominant in many benthic ecosystems. The most primitive bivalves are infaunal, burrowing into soft sediments, but many families are epifaunal, attached to rocks or shells or residing on the sediment surface. Bivalves are well represented in the fossil record from the Early Paleozoic because of their calcareous shells. See also: Biodiversity; Ecosystem; Mollusca
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information