What is the difference between snail and clam

Snail or mussel - how do they differ?

Snails are single-shelled, mussels have a pair of shells

How does a mussel differ from a snail? From the outside, the difference is easy to see. Each mussel forms a lime shell from two shells, the snail one from a single shell.

In the case of mussels, the shell halves form two flaps that are held together by a lock and a lock strap on the back of the mussel. So that they don't slip, the halves are equipped with small teeth on the lock. Both flaps enclose the shell's body. The differently designed castle types help zoologists to determine the exact type of mussel.

So if you find a bowl on the beach, you first have to check whether it can be recognized as part of a pair of bowls, or whether it is a bowl that can be considered a single copy. Clam shells on the beach are often solitary, but their lock means that they are clearly recognizable as half of a pair.

All mussels live in the water. They could not conquer the land like their relatives, the snails, as a habitat. Especially on the Wadden Sea, but also on the beach, there are numerous mussels such as cockles and mussels.

Snails, whose scientific name is Gastropoda, can be found in and around water, as well as on land. To the chagrin of the gardener, many land snails like to colonize lettuce and vegetable patches. With the exception of the nudibranchs, our representatives living in the garden clearly carry a lime house with them, the shape of which appears to be twisted in a spiral. This spiral twisted shape represents the typical snail shell.

However, a snail shell is not always shaped in this way. It can also be flat, so it's easy to mistake it for a clam. Or bizarre calcareous processes change the appearance in such a way that it is difficult to see a snail. The names of the housing shapes often already describe the shape of it. There are hat, ear, spindle, club, screw, pear or egg shapes underneath. For worm snails (Turritellidae) it is impossible to give a specific shape. These sea creatures form a tangle of chalk tubes as a housing.