Speckled scallops on seabed


Scallops are fan-shaped bivalves with a pleasing geometric shape, and they are found in all the world's oceans. Most are free-living, active swimmers using jet propulsion to move, but some attach to structures and others bury themselves in the sand using an extensible foot.

Scallops have up to 100 eyes around the edge of their mantles. These respond to light and dark allowing them to detect changing patterns of light and motion and thus moving objects. Scallops feed on plankton using a filter mechanism and are themselves predated upon by starfish, crabs, lobsters and fish.

Did you know?
The word "scallop" is derived from the old French "escalope" meaning "shell".

Scientific name: Pectinidae

Rank: Family

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The Scallops can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Australia, Europe, Mediterranean, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Scallops distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Sea bed Sea bed
The sea bed, or benthic zone, is inhabited by animals and plants that either live permanently on, burrow within, or are closely associated with the bottom of the ocean. Species found here are dictated more by the substrate - rock, sand, mud or coral, for example - than by the depth of water overhead.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Molluscs
  4. Bivalvia
  5. Ostreoida
  6. Scallops