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clam, common name for certain bivalve mollusks, especially for marine species that live buried in mud or sand and have valves (the two pieces of the shell) of equal size. The oval valves, which cover the right and left sides of the animal, are hinged together at the top by an elastic ligament. Clams burrow by means of a muscular foot, located at the front end, which can be extruded between the valves. The head, located within the shell, is rudimentary, without eyes or antennae. Water containing oxygen and food particles enters through an incurrent siphon; waste-containing water is expelled through an excurrent siphon. The two tubes project from the end opposite the foot and may be united in a single structure called the neck. The sexes are usually separate. Eggs and sperm are deposited in the water; the fertilized egg develops into a free-swimming larva without a shell, which may not attain the adult form for several months.

Clams are highly valued as food. The soft-shell clam, or steamer (Mya arenaria), of both coasts of North America, is one of the most popular eating clams. The hard-shell clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), also known as the northern quahog, is abundant from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Texas. The name quahog is from the Naragansett; some Native Americans used the violet portion of the shell for wampum. Small hard-shell clams are called littlenecks; somewhat larger ones, cherrystones. The ocean quahog (Artica islandica) is among the longest-lived animals; one was estimated to be between 405 and 410 years old in 2007. The razor clam (Ensis), shaped like an old-fashioned straight razor, burrows rapidly and swims by means of its foot. The Atlantic razor clam, found from Labrador to W Florida and prized for its flavor, may attain lengths of 10 in. (25 cm). The Eastern surf clam (Spisula solidissima) frequents sandy bottoms in shallow water from Labrador to North Carolina and is much used for bait. There are also several Pacific surf clams. Other Pacific clams include the succulent Pismo clam (Tivela stultorum), found from mid-California southward and protected by law from overdigging, and the geoduck of the Pacific Northwest, which may weigh as much as 12 lb (5.4 kg). The valves of many small clams are familiar seashells, such as those of the pea-sized amethyst gem clam. The giant clam of the S Pacific Ocean may reach a weight of 500 lb (227 kg) and a length of 5 ft (150 cm).

There are two families of freshwater bivalves called clams. The small freshwater clams (family Sphaeriidae) are hermaphroditic; they retain the fertilized eggs in a brood pouch and bear young with shells. The large freshwater clams (family Unionidae) are also called freshwater mussels; the nacreous inner layer of their shells is a source of mother-of-pearl. The larvae of these clams are parasitic on the gills of fish.

The term clam is sometimes used synonomously with bivalve; in this sense it includes the oysters, scallops, and marine mussels. Clams are classified in the phylum Mollusca, class Pelecypoda or Bivalvia.

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(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for a number of species of bivalve mollusks, many of which are important as food.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The bucket of a clamshell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


any of various burrowing bivalve molluscs of the genera Mya, Venus, etc. Many species, such as the quahog and soft-shell clam, are edible and Tridacna gigas is the largest known bivalve, nearly 1.5 metres long
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(mathematics, tool)
A system for symbolic mathematics, especially General Relativity. It was first implemented in ATLAS assembly language and later Lisp.

See also ALAM.

["CLAM Programmer's Manual", Ray d'Inverno & Russell-Clark, King's College London, 1971].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
(51.) See, e.g., Eiji Oguma, A genealogy of "Japanese" Self-Images 143-55 (2002); Sabine Fruhstuck, Treating the Body as a Commodity: "Body Projects" in Contemporary Japan, in Consumption and material Culture in Contemporary Japan 143-48 (Michael Ashkenazi & John Clammer eds., 2000); Id.
Hundreds of "clammers" pulled freshwater mussels from the state's river bottoms to harvest the raw material used to make mother-of-pearl buttons.
Not that he should be a clammer. Although a few days out on the flats wouldn't kill a guy like you.
Although Japan couldn't possibly accomplish modernization without following the lead of the West, Clammer's argument may provoke reflections on its relatively smooth modernization as compared with the bumpy experience of China.
A clammer arose for a more basic rifle eliminating such niceties as the expensive battle sights and slimming down the handguard by trimming the cluster of Picatinny rails.
Stanley, 'Japan as a Model for Economic Development: The Example of Singapore,' in Eyal Ben-Ari and John Clammer, eds, Japan in Singapore: Cultural Occurrences and Cultural Flows, Curzon Press, 2000, pp.
All that changed in 2000 when my wife and I joined Wisconsin native and former commercial clammer Tony Toye on the Mississippi River's Pool 9 near Ferryville, Wis.
Clammer Terry Wilkins has worked the bay since he was 11, and now, in his 50s, is still passionate about the trade.
This may be partly influenced by the renewed interest in animism among anthropologists more generally (Bird-David 1999; Clammer, Poirier and Schwimmer 2004; Descola 1992; Viveiros de Castro 1998) which in turn is not unrelated to the rise of interest, outside anthropology, in the relations between humans and material objects in science and technology studies, and actor network theory.
Clammer, John 1973 'Colonialism and the perception of tradition in Fiji', in: Talal Asad (ed.), Anthropology and the colonial encounter, pp.
If you have been sucked in by the clammer for 4x4s but don't want to compromise your beliefs or pay through the nose then the Kuga is a great go-anywhere alternative.