Venus (genus)

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Venus clam
Temporal range: Cretaceous - Recent
Venus affinis.jpg
Venus affinis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Pteriomorphia
Order: Veneroida
Family: Veneridae
Genus: Venus
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

See text.

Venus is a genus of small to large saltwater clams in the family Veneridae, which is sometimes known as the Venus clams and their relatives. These are marine bivalve molluscs.

Etymology[edit]

The genus Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love, Venus.

Taxonomy[edit]

However, there are also some bivalves that are still called Venus clams because they used to be in the genus Venus, even though they are now placed in other genera: these include the species within the genus Mercenaria, and Pitar dione, the Venus shell described in sexual terms by Linnaeus.[1][2]

Fossil records[edit]

The genus is known from the Cretaceous to the Recent periods (age range: from 136.4 to 0.0 million years ago). Fossils shells have been found all over the world. There are about 20 extinct species.[3]

The family Veneridae[edit]

The family Veneridae contains over four hundred known species, many of which are attractive and popular with shell-collectors.

The shell of venerids varies in shape, and includes shells that are circular, triangular and rectangular. Characteristically venus clams possess a porcelain-like inner shell layer, a complex tooth structure in the hinge, well-developed escutchion and lunule and a well-developed pallial sinus.

Veneridae colonize the sandy ocean bottom, and their populations are often dense and large. The Veneroida order typically have a folded gill structure which is well developed for filtering out small food particles.

Common name[edit]

The common names of clams in this genus often include the word Venus. A few species that still have "venus" as part of their common name, but which are no longer in the genus Venus are:

Species[edit]

Venus declivis

The genus Venus contains the following extant species:[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linnaeus (1758). Systema Naturae (10th ed.). pp. 684–685. 
  2. ^ Linnaeus (1767). Systema Naturae (12th ed.). pp. 1128–1129. 
  3. ^ Fossilworks
  4. ^ Philippe Bouchet, Mark Huber & Serge Gofas (2012). "Venus Linnaeus, 1758". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved February 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]