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Bentnose Clam
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Scientific Name Macoma Nasuta
Conservation Status Least Concern
Family Bivalve
Habitat Intertidals and shores of west coast
Food Plankton


Macoma nasuta is a species of bivalve found along the Pacific Ocean coast of North America. It is often found buried in sands of 10 to 20 centimeters in depth. This rounded clam has no radial ribs and is commonly called the Bent-nosed clam There is archaeological data to support the use of this species by Native Americans such as the Chumash peoples of central California.

Common in intertidal and subtidal (50 m) zones; Prefers mud to muddy sand substrates situated in quiet waters and can burrow up to 40 cm beneath the surface sediment. M. nasuta and M. secta are geographically sympatric species and both are the characteristic species of Macoma on the west coast of North America.

Found in the neritic provinces of the eastern Pacific Ocean from Kodiak Island, Alaska, to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California.

Found to feed off the top millimeter of sediment by using a boring motion with the tip of its siphon into the sediment or by using a rotating motion similar to Scrobicularia plana. New sediment is found by moving the siphon into virgin sediment but the clams have also been ob served to consume their pseudofeces and feces. It is assumed that the siphon tip is unselective in the particles it intakes.

Non-specific nematodes have been found in the stomach in all stages of digestion from live to empty cuticles. The small (about 500 μm) Bivalve Transenella tantilla has also been found living in the stomach.


Due to their feeding behavior of deposit feeding M. nasuta have been found to have a high level(s) of DDT and PCB’s.

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