10/07/2012 05:56 BST | Updated 10/07/2012 06:11 BST

Clam 'Licks' Salt Off Kitchen Table (VIDEO)

A clam sits on a kitchen table littered with grains of salt. So far so sinister.

The shell peeks open and what looks like a giant, slimy tongue protrudes from the opening, sweeping up the sodium.

As the tongue expands the shell pivots, giving the clam traction as it “licks” up swathes of salt.

As horrifying as it is to watch, there’s tragic angle to the video, namely the fact that that long appendage is no tongue, and that the stricken mollusc is actually trying to escape.

As New Statesman says: “You are watching the execution by torture of an animal which may be almost two centuries old.”

What appears to be the “tongue” of the clam is actually it's “foot” – what the bivalve uses to dig down into the sand. And it’s going nowhere fast.

NS adds: “Have you ever rubbed salt in a wound or poured salt on a slug? The inside of a clam is not much different; touching the salt is not something it likes to do.”