Clam vs Cockle
Clam and cockle are both bivalves, they are molluscs whose shells are made up of two sections joint together. They are usually eaten and served in restaurants and at home. These two are common among menus, regardless of whether it is in a commercial eating place or simply at home.
In the United States, the word clam is used to refer any bivalves, regardless of whether they are marine or freshwater bivalves. It can apply to any and covers all bivalve molluscs. However, the meaning of the word varies from one place to another. In some places, clam is used in a limited sense, and mean those bivalves that dig and attach themselves into the sediments only.
Cockle on the other hand, is considered as the common name used for small, saltwater bivalves which are edible. Usually, they are found in sandy beaches throughout the Earth. Cockles can be distinguished from other bivalves through the shape of its shells. Cockle has a round asymmetrical shells and, when viewed from the end, it would look like heart in shape. Most cockles have radial ribs.
Difference between a Clam and a Cockle
Clam is a broader and more general term compared to cockle, although that may vary from country to country. There are countries who use the term clam as general as referring to all bivalves, although some places only call those marine bivalves that attach themselves in sand as clams; thus those bivalves which attach themselves to substrates like mussels and oysters are not considered as such in those places. Cockle on the other hand, is also a general term but more limited compared to clam; cockles are small, marine bivalves and is usually heart-shaped when you view it from the end.
One can definitely say that all cockles are clams, but one can not say that all clams are cockles.
• Clam is a broader and more general term compared to cockle.
• All cockles are clams, but not all clams are cockles.
• Clams’ size range is indefinite, but cockles are inherently small, saltwater bivalves.
• Cockles can be distinguished from other bivalves through the shape of its shells.