Distinguishing Clams & Cockles

Clam and cockle are both bivalves, meaning they are mollusks that have shells made up of two sections joint together. They are commonly eaten and can be found on menus in restaurants or prepared at home.


In the United States, the term “clam” is used to refer to any bivalves, whether they are marine or freshwater bivalves. The word can apply to any and all bivalve mollusks. However, the meaning of the word varies from one place to another. In some locations, clam is used in a more limited sense, referring only to those bivalves that dig and attach themselves into sediments.


Cockle, on the other hand, is considered the common name for small, edible saltwater bivalves. These are typically found on sandy beaches throughout the Earth. Cockles can be distinguished from other bivalves by the shape of their shells. They have round, asymmetrical shells that, when viewed from the end, resemble a heart shape. Most cockles also have radial ribs.

Key Takeaways

  • Clam is a broader and more general term compared to cockle, with its meaning varying depending on the location.
  • All cockles are clams, but not all clams are cockles.
  • Cockles can be distinguished from other bivalves by the shape of their shells, which are round, asymmetrical, and heart-shaped when viewed from the end.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles