The Queen Scallop or Chlamys opercularis is sometimes just referred to as "clam" or “Queenie". An expensive and highly prized delicacy, the Queen Scallop is the subject of intensive fishing activity. Traditional fishing methods using a special bottom trawl are terribly destructive and leave the sea bottom like a ploughed field with all other inhabitants smashed and discarded. Diver caught scallops are much more environmentally friendly and some supermarkets and restaurants will only supply scallops caught by this method.
Queen scallops grow to about 9cms in length and are preyed on by large starfish. Surprisingly for a bivalve, they can escape by swimming which they do in a series of jerks by rapidly inflating their bodies with water (as in the illustration) and then expelling it. A strange sight which looks for all the world like a set of flying false teeth.
North Sea - St. Abbs Marine Reserve