Russell-Hunter, W. D. Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Functional Morphology
- Mantle-shell and body form
- Ctenidia and pallial complex
- Cardiac and renogenital complex
- Ciliary sorting and gut function
- Nervous system
- Distributional Ecology
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A major phylum of the animal kingdom comprising an extreme diversity of external body forms (oysters, clams, chitons, snails, slugs, squid, and octopuses, among others), all based on a remarkably uniform basic plan of structure and function. The phylum name Mollusca is derived from mollis, meaning soft, referring to the soft body within a hard calcareous shell, which is usually diagnostic. Soft-bodied mollusks make extensive use of ciliary and mucous mechanisms in feeding, locomotion, and reproduction. Most molluscan species are readily recognizable as such.
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