Author: Natasha Fraley

My passion for the natural world began as a child on the rocky shores of Maine, and in streams and woods in elementary school. My connection to all of nature continued with a path to a M.S. in animal behavior and ecology. As a resident and interpreter of the central California coast, I try get out on the ocean and into the tidepools and mudflats as often as I can. I’ve researched the natural history, oceanography, marine life and ecosystems, and human history of this coast for decades. As one of the early employees of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I committed to interpreting ocean life and habitats to the general public. Since those early days, I’ve been involved in the research, interpretive planning and writing of exhibitions for aquariums and natural history museums. I helped to create and continue to develop content and write for the Shape of Life.

Shellfish are often on plates in our homes and in restaurants. Many of these are bivalves – clams, oysters, mussels, abalone, and scallops. Think of how difficult it is to get to the tasty meat of some of these animals. Over millions of years, the bivalves evolved formidable defenses in their hard shells

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