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ark shell

noun
1.
any marine bivalve of the family Arcidae, especially of the genus Arca, characterized by a heavy shell with a toothed hinge and a deep, boatlike inner surface.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for ark-shell

ark shell

any of the species of predominantly marine bivalve mollusks of the family Arcidae. Such clams are characterized by boat-shaped shells with long, straight hinge lines bearing many small, interlocking teeth. The shells are usually coated with a thick, sometimes hairy periostracum (outer organic shell layer). Many of these clams have rows of simple eyes along the mantle margins. Most of the 200 or so known species are found in tropical seas, with relatively few occurring in temperate areas. Ark shells are slow-moving or sedentary. Many species, especially those of the genera Arca and Barbatia, live attached by a byssus (a tuft of horny threads) in rock and coral crevices. Other species, particularly of the genus Anadara, live shallowly buried in sands and silts. Some species, such as the western African Anadara senilis and the Southeast Asian Anadara granosa, have provided a source of food for humans since prehistoric times.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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