Ark clam is the
common name for a family of small to large-sized
edible saltwater clams in the family Arcidae.
Arks vary both in
shape and size. A few species inhabit Barnegat
Bay, although there are about 200 species
Arks are box-like
bivalves with thick, heavy shells that can
withstand strong currents and waves.
The shells of ark
clams are often white or cream, but in certain
species, the shell is striped with, tinted with,
or completely colored with a rich brown.
The shell of most species has a thick layer of
covering the harder
calcareous part of the shell.
Arks live in the
sandy or muddy bottom of the bay and inshore and
offshore in the ocean.
Their anatomy is
similar to the hard clam and begin life as
larvae eventually setting on the bottom and
growing to maturity.
Blood arks can
live up to 5 years while ponderous arks can live
up to 10.