Gosliner, Terrence M. Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.
Last reviewed:January 2021
- Fossil record
- Chemical defense
- Habits and behavior
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A major group of largely marine heterobranch gastropod mollusks, containing more than 6000 living species. Most species of the Opisthobranchia (opisthobranchs) are chemically defended by toxins that are derived from their prey. As a result, the shell is greatly reduced or entirely absent in many different groups. Opisthobranchs are classified into several major groups, and their evolutionary relationships, based on molecular phylogenetics, are just beginning to be clarified. See also: Gastropoda; Mollusca
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