scallop

/skol"euhp, skal"-/, n.
1. any of the bivalve mollusks of the genus Argopecten (Pecten) and related genera that swim by rapidly clapping the fluted shell valves together.
2. the adductor muscle of certain species of such mollusks, used as food.
3. one of the shells of such a mollusk, usually having radial ribs and a wavy outer edge.
4. a scallop shell or a dish in which food, esp. seafood, is baked and served.
5. Cookery. a thin slice of meat, usually further flattened by pounding with a mallet or other implement.
6. any of a series of curved projections cut along the edge, as of a fabric.
v.t.
7. to finish (an edge) with scallops.
8. Cookery. to escallop.
v.i.
9. to dredge for scallops.
Also, scollop.
[1350-1400; ME scalop, aph. var. of escal(l)op ESCALLOP; sense "thin slice of meat" prob. by assoc. with F escalope ESCALOPE]

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Any of more than 400 species (family Pectinidae) of marine bivalves found worldwide, from the intertidal zone to deep waters.

The two halves of the shell (valves) are usually fan-shaped, except for a winglike projection at either side of the straight hinge. The shells are 1–6 in. (2.5–15 cm) long. They may be smooth or ribbed and red, purple, orange, yellow, or white. Cilia filter microscopic plants and animals from the water and move them toward the mouth. Scallops swim by clapping the valves, propelling themselves forward. The muscle that closes the valves is a popular food item.

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also called  escallop,  fan shell,  or  comb shell 
 any of the marine bivalve mollusks of the family Pectinidae, particularly species of the genus Pecten. The family, which includes about 50 genera and subgenera and more than 400 species, is worldwide in distribution and ranges from the intertidal zone to considerable ocean depths.

      The two valves of the shell are usually fan-shaped, except for the straight hinge line with winglike projections at either side of the hinge; the valves range in size from about 2.5 cm (1 inch) to more than 15 cm (6 inches). The shell may be smooth or sculptured with radial ribs, which may be smooth, scaly, or knobbed. Scallops range in colour from brilliant red, purple, orange, or yellow to white. The lower valve is usually lighter in colour and less sculptured than the upper.

      Scallops have a single large adductor muscle for forcefully closing the valves. At the edge of the mantle (i.e., the soft tissues in contact with most of the valve surface) are short tentacles that hang like a curtain between the valves when they are open. The tentacles detect changes in the chemical composition of the watery medium. Also at the edge of the mantle are numerous light-detecting eyes.

      Scallops are most commonly found in sand or fine gravel in relatively clear water. They feed on microscopic plants and animals. Gill cilia (tiny hairlike structures) and mucus aid in the collection and movement of food particles toward the mouth. Scallops are unusual as bivalves in their ability to swim, which they do by spasmodic clapping movements of the valves; the water, ejected in jetlike spurts, propels the animal forward.

      During reproduction eggs and sperm are shed into the water, where fertilization occurs. The eggs develop into free-swimming veliger larvae. In the next developmental stage they settle and metamorphose on the sea bottom; some have the ability to crawl. A byssal gland develops and is used to attach the animal firmly to the bottom or to some other solid surface. Some scallops remain attached throughout life; others break free and become spasmodic swimmers.

      The most important predator of scallops (besides humans) is the starfish (sea star), which attacks by wrapping its arms about the valves and, by the sucking action of its tube feet, pulls the valves apart; it then inserts its stomach between the valves of the scallop and digests the soft parts.

      Primitive man ate scallops and used their shells as utensils. During the European Middle Ages the shell design of the pilgrim's scallop (Pecten jacobaeus) became a religious emblem (the badge of St. James).

      Scallops are a popular and commercially important food item; the large adductor muscle is the part normally eaten. The most productive scallop-bearing grounds are in the northeastern part of Georges Bank, off the coast of Massachusetts, and the Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick–Nova Scotia).

      The sea scallop, also known as the giant, or deep-sea, scallop (Placopecten magellanicus), is the species commonly taken off New England and eastern Canada. The bay scallop (Aequipecten irradians) is also commonly found there. In the British Isles A. opercularis is the species most commonly sought, for food and as bait for commercial fishing lines.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scallop — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum …   Wikipedia

  • Scallop — Scal lop (?; 277), n. [OF. escalope a shell, probably of German or Dutch origin, and akin to E. scale of a fish; cf. D. schelp shell. See {Scale} of a fish, and cf. {Escalop}.] [Written also {scollop}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scallop — Scal lop, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Scalloped}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Scalloping}.] 1. To mark or cut the edge or border of into segments of circles, like the edge or surface of a scallop shell. See {Scallop}, n., 2. [1913 Webster] 2. (Cookery) To bake in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scallop — (n.) bivalve mollusk, c.1400, from O.Fr. escalope shell, variant of eschalope, probably from a Germanic source (Cf. O.N. skalpr sheath, M.Du. schelpe shell ); see SCALE (Cf. scale) (n.1). Extended 17c. to objects shaped like scallop shells,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • scallop — pronounced skol ǝp, is the preferred spelling for the name of the mollusc, not scollop. The verb (meaning e.g. ‘to decorate with scallop designs’) has inflected forms scalloped, scalloping …   Modern English usage

  • scallop — ► NOUN 1) an edible bivalve mollusc with a ribbed fan shaped shell. 2) each of a series of small curves resembling the edge of a scallop shell, forming a decorative edging. ► VERB (scalloped, scalloping) 1) (scalloped) decorated with scallops. 2) …   English terms dictionary

  • Scallop — One of a series of circular curves or projections along an edge …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • scallop — [skäl′əp, skal′əp] n. [ME scalop < OFr escalope < escale: see SCALE2] 1. any of a family (Pectinidae) of bivalves with two deeply grooved, convex shells and an earlike wing on each side of the hinge, that swims by rapidly snapping its… …   English World dictionary

  • scallop — n. & v. (also scollop) 1 any of various bivalve molluscs of the family Pectinidae, esp. of the genus Chlamys or Pecten, much prized as food. 2 (in full scallop shell) a a single valve from the shell of a scallop, with grooves and ridges radiating …   Useful english dictionary

  • scallop — I. noun also scollop Etymology: Middle English scalop, from Anglo French escalope shell, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch schelpe shell Date: 15th century 1. a. any of numerous marine bivalve lamellibranch mollusks (family Pectinidae)… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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