are the family Pectinidae of bivalve molluscs.
the true oysters (family Ostreidae), scallops have a
central adductor muscle, and thus the shell has a characteristic central scar,
marking its point of attachment. Scallops have a smaller adductor muscle than
oysters. Their shell shape tends to be highly regular, and like the standard image
of a shell. Scallops may be attached to their substrate by a structure called
a byssus, others are cemented to their substrate (eg. Hinnites spp.), and yet
others are free living. Scallops can swim by rapidly opening and closing its shell.
This method of rapidly opening and closing its shell is also a defense technique,
protecting it from any threats.
are a popular type of shellfish in both Eastern and
Western cooking. They are characterised
by having two types of meat in one shell: the scallop (white, meaty) and its coral
(orange, soft) which is its roe. Dried scallop is known in Oriental
cuisine as conpoy.
French for a scallop
is coquille St. Jacques, which means "cockle (or mollusk) of St. James",
and that term also refers to a method of cooking and serving them with the coral,
on a shell (real or ceramic) in a creamy wine sauce.
shells in art and design
Scallop shell as a religious symbol
French name for the scallop is coquille St. Jacques and it is so called
because the scallop shell is the traditional emblem of Saint James the Great.
Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage,
known as the Way of St James, to his
shrine at Santiago de Compostela
often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hats or clothes.
scallop shell symbol found its way into heraldry as a badge of those
who had been on the pilgrimage to Compostela. Among those whose family coat of
arms included the scallop was John Wesley, and as a result
the scallop shell is used as an emblem of Methodism.
were traditionally caught by dragging the seabed, but now in British seas there
is a trade in scuba diving to catch scallops.
Dived scallops tend to fetch better prices than dredged scallops because their
shells are not damaged as much and there is much less rubbish mixed with the catch.
Also, scallop diving merely removes the scallops and does no other damage, but
dragging destroys much seabed life and ruins the grazing for many other sea animals
in the area.