What Animals Eat Clams?

Save

Clams are prey for many animals, including humans. However, clams pose a problem for any animal hoping to eat them: Their soft, fleshy bodies are encased in a very hard shell. Any predator that wants to consume a clam must first find a way around or through the clam's shell.

Crabs

  • Larger crabs, such as blue crabs, green crabs and mud crabs, eat clams. Crabs will not eat the shells of clams. To reach the edible clam body inside the shell, crabs crush clams between their claws, which breaks the shell open. Soft-shell clams make up the bulk of the green crab's diet. Hard clams are also a popular food item for crabs, though they are not as commonly consumed as soft-shell clams.

Horseshoe Crabs

  • Horseshoe crabs also eat clams. They will eat both soft-shell clams and very small hard clams and can burrow into the sand to find their prey. While horseshoe crabs may look similar to the crabs listed above, they are actually two very different animals. Horseshoe crabs are closely related to spiders. The broad, smooth shell of the horseshoe crab makes an excellent place for barnacles and other small sea creatures to live and grow.

Snails

  • Snails, such as moon snails, whelks and oyster drills, eat clams. To catch the clams, snails dig rapidly into the sand. Snails attack clams in two ways. Whelks force the clam to open while moon snails and oyster drills both drill one hole into the shell of the clam. Once the clam's shell has been breached, snails can reach and consume the body of the clam inside.

Other Predators

  • In addition to the predators listed above, many other animals eat clams. Starfish pry clams apart with their arms, then insert their stomachs in the shell to dissolve and eat its body. Worms sneak into clams through a gap in the valves, then eat them from the inside out. Skates and rays crush clam shells with their teeth to get at the body, and seagulls are known to drop clams onto rocks to break them open.

  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images Jeffrey Hamilton/Lifesize/Getty Images Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • What Do Woodland Animals Eat?

    Even as civilization expands into the wooded areas, humans come into contact with the native animals more and more frequently. Understanding what...

  • What Eats Mussels?

    Mussels can live in both fresh water and salt water, and are distinguished from clams by their asymmetrical shells. Mussels have many...

  • How to Clean Soft-Shell Clams (Steamers)

    Fresh clams are a delicious addition to a seafood dinner or a raw-bar spread. Care must be taken when purchasing, cleaning and...

  • What Animals Eat Starfish?

    Starfish, or more accurately sea stars, are typically viewed as predators. However, as with most other creatures in the sea, the starfish...

  • What Do Mice Eat?

    Mice will eat anything that they come across, including plants, beetles, cereal, cookies and pet food. Find out how mice can chew...

  • What Does a Starfish Eat?

    Starfish have two stomachs, and they can eat bivalves, such as clams and oysters, despite the fact that their prey may be...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!