Atlantic Jackknife (Ensis directus)

SHELL LENGTH: Approximately 6 inches (15.24 cm)

Also called the Atlantic Razor Clam, this bivalve is long and narrow, resembling an old-fashioned straight razor. This shell is about six times longer than it is wide and grows up to six inches in length, with visible growth rings on the shell. It is covered with a shiny, greenish-brown periostracum when it is alive and is white, brown, and tan when it washes up on shore. This bivalve has a strong, muscular foot that is used to burrow rapidly into sandy sediment by extending the foot into the sand and pulling the shell down after it. The small, oval burrow holes with no sand or droppings piled outside can be found on intertidal beaches.