Lifestyles of Bivalve Molluscs

Most bivalve molluscs are filter feeders, using their gills to capture particles of food from the surrounding water. Bivalves have a range of lifestyles. Some burrow into sediments, some attach themselves permanently to rocks, and some are free swimming. These different modes of life are reflected in the nature of the shell.

Piddocks bored into a piece of wood, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
Wood piddocks.

In this section are examples of some of the different lifestyles of bivalve molluscs:
Burrowing Bivalves
Bivalves that Bore
Attached Bivalves
Free Swimming Bivalves
Crevice dwelling and nestling bivalves
Symbiosis in Bivalves
Other Unusual Bivalves

Last updated: 28 March 2011