Seashell - Orange Sea Treasure | Orient, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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The taxonomic term Bivalvia was first used by Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae in 1758 to refer to animals having shells composed of two valves. More recently, the class was known as Pelecypoda, meaning “axe-foot” (based on the shape of the foot of the animal when extended).

The name “bivalve” is derived from the Latin bis, meaning “two”, and valvae, meaning “leaves of a door”. Not all animals with shells with two hinged parts are classified under Bivalvia; other animals with paired valves include certain gastropods (small sea snails in the family Juliidae), members of the phylum Brachiopoda and the minute crustaceans known as ostracods and conchostrachans. Read more

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