The Ducal Mantle
This shell is made by an animal related to clams and oysters, which makes it different from all the other shells in this collection that are made by snails. In contrast to an oyster that is completely fixed to its bed, the pecten can move from place to place with a certain amount of agility by closing its open valves, thereby forcibly expelling the water. When this is repeated many times, the animal can move away from danger or go in a direction that it wishes. The muscle that these animals use to move are eaten (and are what we call scallops in restaurants); however, the whole animals have been called scallops as well. Many pectens that are commercially harvested for food are larger than this particular species. Most people are familiar with pecten shells because it is a well-known symbol of Shell gasoline company. There are close to 200 different kinds of scallops; this particular one is found all over the Indian and Pacific Oceans, largely in the tropics.
The pecten is a filter feeder, sucking in water and filtering out small particles. This is why when there are dangerous algal blooms, these can contaminate filter-feeding oysters or scallops.
Species Pecten pallium