Fun Quahog Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Quahog Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria) are a kind of edible mollusk. These animals are also known as hard-shell clams, and they are mainly found on the coast along the Atlantic Ocean. But this species has been introduced in various other places as well. They are also produced in large-scale fisheries for commercial use.

Quahogs are usually white or gray in color and can be up to 1-5 in (2.5-12.5 cm) in length. They have two shells that have concentric lines on them. These clams prefer living under layers of silt or sand. Depending on the size of quahog, they have different names. The smallest quahogs are known as peanuts or countnecks. Following this size, there are littlenecks, topnecks, and cherrystones. The largest-sized clams are known as quahogs or chowder clams. Although ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) and quahogs look similar and are related through the same class, Bivalvia, the ocean quahogs are entirely different species. The ocean quahog is found in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Learn more quahog clam facts, by reading below! If you like this article, you can also check out oysters and freshwater mussels.

Fun Quahog Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small zooplankton, microscopic algae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

5 oz (141.7 g) or more

How long are they?

1-5 in (2.5-12.5 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, white, brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Predators

What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?

Coastal Areas


North America









Quahog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Quahog?

The quahog, also known as a hard-shell clam, is a kind of mollusk.

What class of animal does a Quahog belong to?

These animals belong to the Bivalvia class. They are a part of the Veneridae family.

How many Quahogs are there in the world?

The exact number of quahogs in the world is not known. Since these animals are also produced in captivity in fisheries for commercial purposes, it can be inferred that their population is stable.

Where does a Quahog live?

Quahogs are native to the Atlantic Ocean and are found in the regions from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. Apart from the East Coast of America, this species has also been introduced in other regions like in the coastal areas of Humboldt Bay, England, California, and Southern Brittany. Attempts are being made to introduce this species in various other places worldwide.

What is a Quahog's habitat?

Quahogs are seen in intertidal zones, where the ocean meets the land. Their most common habitat includes mudflats and sand flats. They require a certain amount of salinity as well, but cannot survive if the habitat is too saline.

Who do Quahogs live with?

Quahogs, or hard shell clams, are known to exist in an isolated state. Hence, they can be found in a solitary state in their natural habitat. In fisheries, they can co-exist with humans.

How long does a Quahog live?

The median lifespan of quahogs is between 12-20 years. But they can live up to 40 years of age or even longer.

How do they reproduce?

Quahogs need an optimal temperature and pH to begin their reproduction process. This required temperature is usually 73 F (23 C). However, some hard-shell clams have adapted to spawning in lower temperatures. When the conditions are right, the male quahog releases his sperms in the water. This is followed by the female quahog releasing her eggs. The female produces millions of eggs in the water. The female ocean quahog is known to lay 1-5 million eggs. Fertilization is external and random in nature. Hence, if there are more quahogs in the vicinity, there is more chance of successful spawning. The quahog larvae take approximately six to 10 days to form their shell, body organs, and foot.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of quahog clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) is Not Evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN. But apart from living in their own marine habitat, this species is also extensively produced in fisheries. However, measures are taken to make sure that their numbers remain stable for both commercial supplies and maintaining their natural population.

Quahog Fun facts

What do Quahogs look like?

Quahogs are common in the eastern region of North America.

Quahogs have a pretty unique appearance. Their two shells are white or gray in color and have a brownish tinge to them. The interior of each shell is also white with a purple tinge. There are several concentric lines on the shells. Each shell is pretty thick, hard, and can be considered to be larger than other related species.  The shells are triangular or subovate in shape and joined in a hinge-like region known as the umbo. Quahogs also have a foot and a pair of siphons.

How cute are they?

Quahogs might not appear cute by the regular standards. However, some of their unique life processes make them quite interesting.

How do they communicate?

Methods of communication are not that elaborate in the quahogs. However, if they notice danger, they tend to retract their siphons and can move small distances, even though they stay motionless for the most part of their lives.

How big is a Quahog?

Quahogs are known by different names based on their lengths. The littlenecks measure between 1-2.5 in (2.5-6.35 cm). Next, the cherrystones are in the 2.5-3 in (6.35-7.62 cm) range. The biggest one, known as the chowder clam is 3-5 in (7.62-12.7 cm). The ocean quahog appears bigger compared to the hard shell clam.

Can mussels move?

Mussels are generally immobile and rarely move. But they can choose to move small distances with the help of their muscular foot. The foot also helps them bury themselves deep under the sand in the water. Since quahogs are related to mussels by being in the same class, Bivalvia, they also display the same behavior.

How much does a Quahog weigh?

This species of clam is considered to be quite heavy due to its hard and thick shells. The biggest quahogs can weigh up to 5 oz (141.7 g) or sometimes even more. The weight of other sizes of these clams can range between 1-4 oz (28.3-113.3 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female of this species are known as male quahog and female quahog, respectively.

What would you call a baby Quahog?

A baby quahog is known as a larva.

What do they eat?

Quahogs feed on smaller plants and animals, termed phytoplankton and zooplankton. They use their siphons to feed. The siphons are usually seen raised over the layer of mud or sand under which they are buried. They inhale in water and the food material using those siphons.

Are they dangerous?

Usually, quahogs do not pose a threat when alive. However, as food, they can be toxic to humans. Like other species of edible shellfish, quahogs can cause allergies. This can be fatal as well.

Would they make a good pet?

Quahogs are not very commonly seen as pets. Due to their certain requirements and unique way of living under layers of sand or silt, they might not be the best choice to keep as pets.

Did you know...

The scientific name for quahogs, 'Mercenaria mercenaria' translates to 'wages'. This name was given because the native Americans used the shells of the quahogs as currency. The name quahog itself was derived from the native American name 'poquauhock' which means horse fish. Tribes belonging to New England made special beads out of the shells of quahogs.

Some of the common predators of the quahog are oysters, drills, whelks, pufferfish, and so on. These animals are also known to filter out wastes in water bodies.

Only 10% of the quahog larvae live long enough to reach the adult stage. Most of the other offsprings are eaten by crabs.

How to pronounce Quahog

The phonetic pronunciation of quahog can be 'koh-hog' or 'kwaw-hog'.

Quahogs vs. clams

'Clam' is a more generalized term used to describe several kinds of mollusks that are used as food by people. So, clams can be found in various places. A quahog on the other hand refers to the hard shell clam that is found in the Atlantic ocean. Hence, their location is predominantly along the eastern region of North America. However, they are also produced in fisheries of different places.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including a marlin or prawns.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our quahog coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?