Strong, Ellen E. Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Phylogeny and Classification
- Diversity and Trends
- Invasion of Freshwater
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
One of five main groups of gastropods (snails) in the phylum Mollusca (snails, clams, squids, and their relatives). With approximately 190 families in 29 superfamilies (see table), caenogastropods form a large, mostly marine group, including about 60% of all living gastropod species. They are especially diverse in the tropics, but have invaded virtually every marine habitat from supratidal to hadal depths (ocean trenches) and have conquered freshwater and terrestrial habitats on every continent except Antarctica. They are usually prominent members of their communities and often dominate numerically and in terms of biomass; as such, they are ecologically important, playing vital roles in nutrient cycling and ecosystem maintenance and function. This remarkable ecological diversity has been accompanied by an equally remarkable diversification in morphology, physiology, life history, and behavior. The group includes many well-known and collectible shells, including Cypraeidae (cowries), Muricidae (rock shells), Volutidae (balers), and Conidae (cones), as well as four of the top five most speciose molluscan families (Cerithiopsidae, Eulimidae, Triphoridae, and Turridae). See also: Ecological communities; Ecology; Gastropoda; Marine ecology; Mollusca
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information