The term Razor Clam refers to several species of clam that are classified as razors. The most notable being the Pacific Razor but the species also includes the Atlantic Jackknife and the Razor Shell clam. The pacific razor clam is native to the ocean waters along the coast of the Pacific West Coast from the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Pismo Beach, California. The razor shell species can be found thriving under the sandy beaches in Northern Europe and in regions of Eastern Canada such as along the shorelines off Prince Edwards Island. The Atlantic Jackknife razor clam finds its home on the shorelines of the North American Atlantic coast, from Canada to South Carolina as well as Europe.
Razor clam species are highly prized as a food source that is collected both recreationally and commercially.
The habitat of the Pacific Razor clam is under the sandy beaches burrowing down to maximum depths of 30 feet. This species of clam has an elongated narrow flat shell that commonly reach the length of six inches. The shell of this particular species of clam is very thin and compared too much smaller clams is very brittle and easily shattered. In the pacific razor clams Alaskan habitat this particular species of mollusk has been known to reach the length of 11 inches. The pacific razor clam is most valued for the extensive amount of meat which is found within its shell.
The Atlantic Jackknife razors live in the sand and mud, and can be found burrowing to subtidal zones in the bays and estuaries. Due to the Atlantic Jackknife razor clams shape which has been described as being long and narrow this particular species can burrow quick and fast as well as swim. The foot of this species of razor clam is also regarded as the reason the clam is able to burrow to such remarkable depths. The speed in which the Atlantic Jackknife can burrow to safety has been said to be quicker than the human trying to catch it. The Atlantic Jackknife razor is not commercially fished even though the meat of this species of clam is considered a delicacy.
The Razor shell species of razor clams is equipped with what is described as a foot that they use to burrow out holes in the sand which they call home. The foot of the razor shell clam is capable of inflating which is done hydraulically. The razor shell inflates the foot once it has burrowed to a safe depth and then attaches to the ground acting as an anchor. By deflating the foot the shell is drawn down into the hole keeping the razor shell clam safe from possible predators.
All species of the razor clam are sought after for the prized meat that it contains within its protective shell. All species of clams including the razor clam species have been used by humans in cooking around the world for many, many years.