Types of Shellfish: Weird, Wonderful, and Downright Confusing

Studying Time: 3 minutes

Once you assume “Shellfish,” the issues that come to thoughts are clams, scallops, oysters – you understand, issues that reside in shells. For probably the most half, you’d be proper. Nevertheless, there are a variety of forms of Shellfish on the market, and a few of them are certain to shock you. With that in thoughts, let’s take a dive into the extraordinary world of Shellfish species.

The 2 foremost forms of Shellfish are Crustaceans and Mollusks. Crustaceans are extra simple, as a result of just about all the things we eat falls into one sub-family. Mollusks are somewhat extra tough. So, let’s begin with the straightforward stuff and work our means as much as the weirdness.

Crustaceans: the Tanks of the Ocean (Principally)

The Crustacean household contains lots of our favourite meals. Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp are all Crustaceans, as are Crawfish for you freshwater varieties. The factor that all of them have in widespread is their arduous outer “exoskeleton.” As anybody who’s eaten them is aware of, Crustaceans don’t have bones. As an alternative, their shell acts as armor, holding their tender our bodies protected.

In addition to scrumptious seafood, the Crustacean household has a number of species you may not count on. Ever scraped your foot on a barnacle? That’s a Crustacean. Keep in mind “sea monkeys”? Guess what, turns they’re not monkeys in any respect – they’re brine shrimp, one other kind of Crustacean. A few of them don’t even reside in water – woodlice are additionally from the identical household. 

Mollusks: Shellfish With out Shells?

In the event you had been shocked by among the Crustacean household, simply wait till you meet the Mollusks. This group features a honest few fishy favorites, but it surely additionally has some creatures you’d by no means describe as Shellfish.

1. Bivalves. Cue the listing of your favourite seafood: Mussels, Oysters, Scallops, Clams, Cockles (individuals eat these, proper?). The factor that all of them have in widespread is that their shells have two halves. That, and the truth that they style nice.

2. Gastropods: These guys are your typical seashell that you just’ll discover on a seashore. Sea Snails, Whelks, Conches, and Limpets are all Gastropods. They’re much less widespread in eating places than their two-halved cousins, however some, like Abalone, are delicacies.

3. Cephalopods: Sure, Squid and Octopus are each forms of Mollusks. You could be considering, “How can they be Shellfish? They don’t have a shell!” Really, they do. The distinction is that, as a substitute of rising a tough shell round them, they developed a tricky plate inside known as a “gladius.” Primarily, they’re inside out.

Pictured: Shellfish

So what have we realized at the moment? Shellfish aren’t fish, and so they don’t at all times have shells. Many people have saved them as pets, and historic sailors had been frightened of them destroying their boats. The one factor we are able to agree on is that it is a unusual and complicated household. That, and that numerous them are scrumptious!

What are your favourite Shellfish to eat? Have been you shocked by any of the species on our listing? Tell us within the feedback under!