mussel and clam

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  • AmaryllisBunny

    Senior Member
    Yes, they're different types of shellfish.

    Mussel: a marine bivalve mollusk (especially genus Mytilus) usually having a dark elongated shell.

    Normally, clams are more circular in shape and lighter in color, whereas mussels tend to be darker in color and thin and oval in shape. This is a general statement, not referring to any specificities of the two.


    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the main difference between mussels and clams is that mussels live in the sea (attached to rocks, posts and so on) and clams live under sand.

    On the other hand, the sand-dwelling bivalve that is most commonly eaten in Britain is called a "cockle". It may technically be a clam but we don't call it a clam.


    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    On Canada's west coast we have many different species of marine clams and other bivalves. There are a few marine species of mussels here too, which are easy to distingush from any of the clams. In some nearby lakes, though, there are fresh water clams which look exactly like some of the salt water mussels. They even lie around on the surface a lot instead of burrowing underground. They are clams though, not mussels: for example, they can't produce byssus to anchor themselves, as mussels can. (Ancients wove the fabled "cloth of gold" from shining byssal threads.)
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