Animal Species:Sydney Cockle

The Sydney Cockle is a large cockle (about 7 cm) and quite conspicuous around Sydney's beaches and estuaries.

Two Sydney Cockles on Rock

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Sydney Cockle

Alternative Name/s

Ark Cockle

Identification

The Sydney Cockle shell is creamy white with about 28 deep, predominant ridges along the surface. This cockle is popularly harvested for food in estuarine tidal flats and seagrass beds.

Size range

7 cm

Distribution

The Sydney Cockle is found in Southern Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Habitat

Sydney Cockle lives in intertidal mangroves and seagrass.

Feeding and Diet

Like all bivalves, the Sydney Cockle is a filter feeder, taking in the surrounding water and extracting small particles of food. It is very efficient at this and can filter 1.5 litres of water in an hour. In polluted waters, it will also extract metals such as copper and cadmium and retain these in its flesh. Because of this, the species is sometimes used as a bioindicator to determine water pollution levels.

 

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Sydney Cockle is one of the few molluscs with red blood like us. Most molluscs species have colourless or blue blood.

Classification

Species:
trapezia
Genus:
Anadara
Family:
Arcidae
Order:
Arcoida
Class:
Bivalvia
Phylum:
Mollusca
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags bivalves, shellfish, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,