Southwest Florida Shells

José H. Leal

Dinocardium robustum

(Lightfoot, 1786)

Family Cardiidae

Atlantic Giant Cockle

Shell size to 125 mm; shell very large for family, inflated, obliquely ovate. Sculpture of about 32-36 rounded, smooth radial ribs. Umbones rounded. Palial line simple. Margins crenulated. Color pale-tan to yellowish-brown, mottled irregularly with red-brown. Posterior slope mahogany-brown. Interior salmon-pink.As it often happens with other species of the family Cardiidae, the Atlantic giant cockle uses its muscular foot to leap away, in pole-vault fashion, from attacking predators. The photos of the live cockle in this feature were taken by Dr. José H. Leal in late June 2015, during a low-tide beach walk at Bunche Beach, in Fort Myers. The cockle’s “L-shaped” foot, mottled with reddish-brown flecks, is visible on the top part of the photos.

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