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Second-largest phylum in number of species- over 100,000 described. Ecologically widespread- marine, freshwater, terrestrial (gastropods very successful.

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Presentation on theme: "Second-largest phylum in number of species- over 100,000 described. Ecologically widespread- marine, freshwater, terrestrial (gastropods very successful."— Presentation transcript:

1 Second-largest phylum in number of species- over 100,000 described. Ecologically widespread- marine, freshwater, terrestrial (gastropods very successful on land) Variety of body plans (therefore, many classes within the phylum) Variety in body size- from ~1 mm to ~18 m (60 feet). 80% are under 5 cm, but many are large and therefore significant as food for man. Phylum Mollusca

2 Extant Molluscan classes Monoplacophora Aplacophora Scaphopoda (tusk shells) Cephalopoda (octopus, squid, nautilus) Gastropoda (snails) Bivalvia (clams, mussels) Polyplacophora (chitons)


4 Mollusk characteristics Ciliated body surface Calcareous shell- composed of three primary layers- outer periostracum, middle prismatic layer (columnar crystals of calcite) and inner nacre (flat crystals of calcite) Mantle- dorsal surface of body wall, modified to secrete shell

5 More mollusk characteristics Radula- a rasping tongue with chitin teeth, sometimes also chitinous jaws Ctenidia- ciliated gills for respiratory gas exchange, usually located in a mantle cavity Open circulatory system (hemocoel)- coelom is reduced

6 ~ 800 species, all marine, many intertidal Shell is distinctive- 8 overlapping plates imbedded partly or entirely in tough girdle. Mantle space extends around perimeter of animal (not just posterior). Ctenidia are lateral and multiple. Very conservative class. Fossils date to mid/late Cambrian (500 my). Class Polyplacophora (chitons)


8 A collection of chitons


10 10 Class Bivalvia Clams, Oysters, Shipworms

11 11 Class Bivalvia Two shells Most are filter feeders No head or radula Burrow –Sand, wood, rocks

12 12

13 13

14 14 Giant Clam & Burrowing Clam Siphon

15 15 Zebra Mussel Environmental Pest Ballast water of ships from Europe in 1986 Attack be secreting adhesive byssal threads –Each other –Other mussels –Man made objects Pipes, plumbing

16 16 Zebra Mussel Live in high densities Feed on phytoplankton Reproduce rapidly

17 17 Zebra Mussel Attach to native mussels Killed all native mussels in Lake Erie

18 18 Distribution of Zebra Mussel

19 19 Oysters

20 20 Pearl formation Developing pearl EpitheliumEpithelium ShellShell Irritant lodged between shell and mantle Layers of nacre secreted around foreign material

21 21 Scallops

22 Cephalopoda Rapid movement; well-developed nervous systems. Example: Octopus, squid, nautilus


24 Originally described from fossils- thought to be extinct since Devonian (350 mya) first live specimens recovered in 1952 from 3,600 m depth Primitive class, most similar to gastropods, chitons Organ systems show metamerism, similar to annelids and arthropods Class Monoplacophora (single shell carriers)

25 snails, slugs, nudibranchs, limpets, cowrys, abalones, etc. By far the largest and most diverse molluscan class- over 80% of mollusc species are gastropods Marine benthic, pelagic, freshwater benthic, terrestrial (mesic & xeric) Grazers or predators Prominent head, with well-developed sensory structures (second only to cephalopods) Class Gastropoda (belly-foot)

26 Gastropod shell Basically a cone, straight or coiled, with new shell deposited at the margin of the open end during growth New growth limpetssnails

27 Gastropoda, Prosobranchia, Archeogastropoda Abalone are large, valuable snails that are harvested and cultured for food and the iridescent shells


29 Gastropoda, Prosobranchia, Mesogastropoda Example- conchs (Strombus ~50 species) The queen conch (Strombus gigas) herbivorous- it is common in the Caribbean and is harvested for its meat and shell. This species is economically important and of conservation concern due to overharvesting and pollution

30 Conch pearls


32 Some other mesogastropod prosobranchs cowries tritons

33 Gastropoda, Prosobranchia, Neogastropoda Example- cone snails- Conus species. All cone snails inject venom and several of the fish eaters can be fatal to humans

34 Cone snails are able to engulf their prey whole after paralyzing it with venom

35 Cone snails have conotoxins- unique venom strategy. Many different small peptides target different receptors and enzymes. One species may have over 100 different peptides. Conotoxins have exceptionally high affinity for receptors and a very high target specificity. Great interest in these peptides as pharmacological agents for research and for drug use

36 Muricids Some other neogastropod prosobranchs Volutes Whelks

37 Bubble snails (cephalaspids) Sea slugs Nudibranchs: (dorids, aeolids) most are carnivorous, feed on cnidarians Sacoglossans: most are herbivorous- many adopt chloroplasts Pteropods: (thecosomes, gymnosomes) pelagic, foot modified into winglike lobes Sea Hares: (anaspids) important in neurobiology Subclass Opisthobranchia (gills-behind) some major groups by common name

38 Bubble shells (Order Cephalaspida) Most are aeolian carnivores on gastropods and annelids

39 Nudibranchs (Order Nudibranchia) Shell, mantle cavity and ctenida are gone Possess cerata (singular = ceras) dorsal projections of the body wall and hemocoel that act as secondary gills Most are carnivorous and feed largely on cnidarian polyps. There are two suborders- Doridina (dorids) and Aeolidina (aeolids). Nudibranchs are some of the most incredibly colorful animals on earth

40 Dorid nudibranchs

41 More dorid nudibranchs (suborder Doridina))

42 Aeolid nudibranchs (suborder Aeolidina)

43 Borrowed weapons Aeolids feed on cnidarians and store the functional nematocysts at the tips of their cerata in cnidosacs Each ceras contains a branch of the digestive gland. A duct connects the cnidosac to the digestive gland. Stained section of cnidosac showing nematocysts at tip Digestive gland cnidosac

44 Saccoglossan sea slugs - Shell reduced or absent most saccoglossans are herbivores that suck plant cytoplasm- some can hijack chloroplasts

45 Left: sacoglossan Placida showing network of ducts containing green chloroplasts from its algal food. Right: aeolid nudibranch Pteraeolidia "farms" colonies of brown single-celled algae (zooxanthellae) in its cerata (stolen from cnidarian prey). Solar-powered Opisthobranchs

46 Mimicry among dorid nudibranchs and polyclad flatworms- can you tell which is which?

47 Pterotrachea coronata sea elephant A pelagic prosobranch (Mesogastropoda: Heteropoda) that is convergent on pteropods The foot is a sculling fin

48 Sea hares - (Anaspidea) internal shell, ink defense, neurobiology subjects

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