Warty venus

lat. Venus verrucosa

Warty venus

Warty venus belongs to the family of Veneridae just like many well known Adriatic shells like smooth clam. Warty venus, a typical type of this family, spends its lifespan in one place burried in mud. How deep it will go depends on the day, but most commonly it’s only a couple of centimeters under the surface. They are white and sometimes may have few brown or yellow stripes that are expressed more on hard, rocky bottom. The ones that inhabit softer bottom are usually greyish or yellowish in color and have to be well scrubbed in order for mudd to disappear. They are covered with a large number of concentric ridges whose purpose is to enhance burrying under the sediment. Ridges can serve as a protection from predators like spiny dye-murex that has a tndency to drill its valve if spots a warty venus out on the open. This procedure takes a few hours precisely because the spiny dye-murex finds it hard to force its way through the ribs on the hard valve. They inhabit areas full of other shells because there is sufficient plankton. They live at the depth in between of the half metre till 20 metres. They can also live under the gravel botom and even under larger rocks. Many are excidentally dug out by vawes and fish and manage to survive like that for a long time if there is no spiny dye-murex and octopus near by. The biggest specimens can grow up to less then 10 cm but these are rare and old because the possibility of survivng that much time is not likely. They are commonly found at places where people haven’t looked before and on greater depths. Their average size is from 3-4 cm what they achieve in 2 years time.

Energy and nutritional value

Althought they are not rich in fat, warty venus has a significant amount of valuable omega 3 fatty acids that protect from chronic diseases and cancer. Shells have a unique compound of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) similar to oily fish. These are beneficial to cognitive functions and protect from chronic disease.

Besides valuable fats, shells are great source of vitamin B12 that participates in maintaining bone health, red blood cells, eyes and brain.

100g of fresh shells ensures 824% of recommended daily intake , i.e 49.4 mcg. In addition, shells are great source of zinc. Only four oysters meet the daily need for it , i.e. 10 mg. Zinc is important for our immune system and acts as an antioxidant.

Furthermore, shells are a source of iron. It has been reported that particularly women suffer from the lack of it and 150 g of mussels meet the daily need for it. Shells are also rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and C. In addition, they are considered a great source of ionide and selenium. Interestingly, shells are reported to be one of rare animal sources of vitamin C. They are also a source of choline that plays an important role in maintaining healthy liver and prevents the development of nonalchocolic liver disease. Besides liver, choline protects brain as well and it has proven beneficial to memory.