California Jackknife Clam

Tagelus californianus

This 4-inch brown clam is a common resident of sandy mudflats in sloughs and estuaries all along the California coast. Usually for a clam, the burrow it digs in the mud is permanent, and may be as deep as 20 inches. The streamlined shape of its shell and its muscular foot allow it to move rapidly up and down its tunnel—feeding near the top and hiding from danger at the bottom.

Fun Fact:
This clam lives in a vertical home—its front door at the top and its bedroom at the bottom.

What’s for Lunch:
Decaying organic matter

Where’s Home:
A permanent burrow in the mudflats along the lagoon's main channel