Definitions for soft-shell clam
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word soft-shell clam
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
any usu. oval edible clam of the genus Mya, esp. M. arenaria, inhabiting waters along both coasts of North America.
Ref: Also called steamer. 4
Origin of soft-shell clam:
soft-shell clam, steamer, steamer clam, long-neck clam(noun)
a clam that is usually steamed in the shell
soft-shell clam, steamer, steamer clam, long-neck clam, Mya arenaria(noun)
an edible clam with thin oval-shaped shell found in coastal regions of the United States and Europe
Soft-shell clams or Sand gaper, scientific name Mya arenaria, popularly called "steamers", "softshells", "longnecks", "piss clams", "Ipswich clams", or "Essex clams" are a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Myidae. These clams live buried in the mud on tidal mudflats. They are well known as a food item on the coast of New England in the Western Atlantic Ocean, however the range extends much farther north to Canada and south to the Southern states. They are also found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, for example in the UK, as well as in the North Sea's Wadden Sea. This species has become an invasive on the Pacific Coast of North America, including Alaska, Canada and the continental USA. M. arenaria originated in the Pacific Ocean during the Miocene. It extended its range in the early Pliocene to the Atlantic, including European waters. The Pacific and European populations went extinct some time in the early Pleistocene, leaving only the Northwest Atlantic population, which subsequently spread via humans to its current distribution. It also occurs in the Mediterranean Sea.
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