Bivalves are found worldwide, including aquatic habitats at high and low latitudes. All are aquatic, requiring water for reproductive processes, respiration, and typically for feeding. One supratidal species (Enigmonia) lives in the tidal spray on mangrove leaves or seawalls in Australia, achieving the most nearly "terrestrial" life mode of any bivalve. Several independent lineages of bivalves have invaded freshwater habitats, where they have diversified to produce one of the most endemic faunas as well as some of the most important biofoulers among invertebrates. Many species have been introduced to non-native locations accidentally or intentionally, the latter often in commercial aquaculture for human use or consumption.

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