Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Bivalvia > Malleidae

Family: Malleidae (Hammer Oysters)


Hammer oysters are hinged at the top of the "T" (in the picture), where a small byssus emerges at the back. The hinge is held by an oblique ligament rather than teeth, and the shell is partially nacreous. One might think of this oyster as having evolved the straight-edged hinge of the pearl oyster to an absurd length. A single large adductor muscle lies at the cross of the T, and the exhalant current is discharged at the hinge. Most live in the crevices of coral rocks or on reef flats, in tropical regions.
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Pteriomorphia
Order: Pterioida
Superfamily: Pteriacea
Family: Malleidae
Major Genera
  • Genus: Malleus
  • Genus: Malvimalleus

Maleus albus (Lamarck, 1819)
White Hammer Oyster
(a 25 cm specimen)

Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Bivalves > Hammer Oysters