Scallops swim using jet propulsion produced by expulsion of water from between the valves by rapid contraction of the adductor muscle. The valves are subsequently opened by a ligament that acts like a spring mechanism. Compared with burrowing or sessile bivalves, scallops have ligaments with greater resilience. To determine whether the ligament resilience, ligament opening force, and force deployed by the phasic and tonic adductor muscles varied with escape response strategies and shell morphology, these properties were compared in scallops (Amusium balloti, Placopecten magellanicus, Equichlamys bifrons, Pecten fumatus, Mimachlamys asperrima, and Crassadoma gigantea) with differing life habits and morphologies. The ligament opening force varied among species and was always equal to or exceeded by phasic and tonic closing forces. The species producing the greatest frequency of phasic contractions (P. fumatus) had the greatest ligament resilience.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2