More about the cockle


The Common cockle is quite widespread in northern Europe, especially on sandy beaches within tidal areas. The cockles siphons can be seen as two small shining marks in the sand. The cockle, with its long and powerful foot, ploughs its way through the sand leaving a furrow afterwards. If it should find itself on top of the sand, it is able to dig downwards quickly because of the foots curveture, which enables the cockle to pull itself downwards. Compare with how other beach organisms dig.
    If, on a summers day, a number of cockles are placed in the water above the sand, many of them will probably have dug down into the sand within a few minutes, and nearly all of them within 10 minutes. Young cockles dig faster than adults, and dig faster during the summer compared to the winter. Despite the dangers of ice and cold, the cockle can survive in a frozen sand bottom up to a month.

The siphons of a Common cockle seen from above. The inhalent is on the left, while the narrow exhalent is on the right. The rest of the cockle is hidden in the sand. The green weed is eel grass .

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Easily mistaken specie

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson