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Scallops

 

 


Scallops
Scientific classification
Domain:Eukaryota
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Mollusca
Class:Bivalvia
Order:Ostreoida
Family:Pectinidae
Genera

Pecten
Pedum
Amusium
Chlamys
Decatopecten
Argopecten
Flexopecten
Lissopecten
Hyalopecten
Nodipecten
Patinopecten
Semipallium
Mimachlamys
Equichlamys
Mesopeplum
Veprichlamys
Notochlamys
Delectopecten
Cryptopecten
Anguipecten
Haumea
Mirapecten
Volachlamys
Juxtamusium
Annachlamys
Gloripallium
Excellichlamys
Bractechlamys
Minnivola
Coralichlamys
Serratovola
Somalipecten
Pseudohinnites
Glorichlamys

Scallops are the family Pectinidae of bivalve molluscs.

Like 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.

Scallops in cooking

Scallops 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.

The 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.

Scallop shells in art and design

The Scallop shell as a religious symbol

The 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.

The 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.

Gathering scallops

Scallops 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.


 


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