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Cape Cod Not A Clam At All

Everyone who has strolled on a Cape Cod beach for any distance has seen the long, black shells which so-called razor clams once occupied. The shells are usually paired, so that they can be closed together, and remind one of the old fashion razor with the blade folded.

As a matter of fact, the razor clam is not a clam at all. It is a fish, long, thin, not shaped a bit like a true clam, and it lives buried in the wet sand on the flats, perhaps a quarter of a mile, or even more, below the high-water line. You can sometimes locate the razor clam while in its home by the tiny ring, with a little hole in it, in the sand above.

The razor fish, for that is what the razor clam really is, makes that ring by squirting water up through the hole. Real clams squirt water like that, too; and at low tide you can often see the jets of water as they suddenly shoot up a foot or so, like little geysers, from the mud.

A Cape Cod boy catches razor clams thus: He finds the tell-tale ring in the sand, and, thrusting his fingers into the sand, digs as fast as he can to the fish. Hurry he must, else the razor fish will slip like greased lightning from between his shells, downward, and out.

It is said that razor clams make a wonderful stew.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 06/13/06
Categories: BeachesNature
Keywords: beaches, critters, nature, shellfish, razor clams


I had a twelve year old plunging into the mud and got half a dozen in no times.  It takes the quick small hands with great will power to out speed them! Great chowder .

Posted by Brian Barrington from Pleasant Bay on 05/28/11 at 09:31 PM | #

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