The Cockle reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Cockle

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Cockles
Scientific classification
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Domain:Eukaryota
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Mollusca
Class:Bivalvia
Order:Veneroida
Family:Cardiidae
Genera
Acanthocardia
Americardia
Cardium
Cerastoderma
Clinocardium
Corculum
Ctenocardia
Dinocardium
Discors
Fragum
Fulvia
Laevicardium
Lophocardiium
Lyrocardium
Lunulicardia
Microcardium
Nemocardium
Papyridea
Parvicardium
Plagiocardium
Ringicardium
Trachycardium
Trigoniocardia
Serripes

Cockles are the family Cardiidae of bivalve molluscs.

The rounded shells are symmetrical, heart-shaped and feature strongly pronounced ribs. The mantles has three apertures (inhalant, exhalant, and pedal) for siphoning water and for the foot to protrude. Cockles typically burrow using the foot and feed by siphoning water in and out, sifting plankton from it. They are also capable of 'jumping' by bending and straightening the foot. Unlike most bivalves, cockles are hermaphroditic and reproduce quickly.

Cockles are a popular type of shellfish in both Eastern and Western cooking. Consumption of raw cockles has been linked to hepatitis.

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The English phrase 'cockles of my heart' refers to the ventricles of the heart (Latin cochleae cordis).

See also: cochlea