You are on page 1of 38


Phylum Mollusca

200,000 species
More species in ocean than any other animal group

Soft body enclosed by calcium carbonate shell

Body covered by mantle

Thin layer of tissue that secretes the shell
Phylum Mollusca

Displays Bilateral Symmetry

Ventral muscular foot used for


Most had have that includes eyes

and other sensory organs
Essentially, a mollusc is a coiled
mass of vital organs wrapped
in a dorsal shell.
Phylum Mollusca

Some have radula

Ribbon of small teeth used to rasp food from
Made of chitin
Whats a radula and how does it work?
Modern woodworkers could tell you!

micrograph of a mollusc radula: note the

chisel-like design
Phylum Mollusca

Have paired gills

Portion of body may be coiled and asymetrical

Occupy all marine environments rocky shores to

hydrothermal vents
Essentially, a mollusc is a coiled
mass of vital organs wrapped
in a dorsal shell.
Gastropods (Class Gastropoda), or stomach foot,
are the most common mollusks.

Snails, limpets, abalone, and nudibranchs.

75,000 spp.

red abalone
Haliotis rufescens
giant keyhole limpet
Megathrua crenulata

Coopers nutmeg snail

nudibranch, Phidiana crassicornis
Cone snail, Conus geographus Cancellaria cooperi
Class Gastropod Stomach Footed

Coiled mass of vital organs enclosed by a dorsal

shell resting on a foot
Class Gastropod Stomach Footed

Most use radula to scrape algae

Mud snails are deposit feeders

Whelks, oyster drills, and cone shells are carnivores that

prey on clams, oysters, worms, and small fishes
Modified Radula to drill and rasp prey
Class Gastropod Stomach Footed

Nudibranchs (sea slugs)

No shell
Colorful branches of the gut and gills
Prey on sponges and other invertebrates
Produce noxious chemicals or retain undischarged nematocysts
taken undigested from prey
Bivavles: Class Bivalvia
Class Bivalvia

Clams, mussels, and oysters

Body laterally compressed and enclosed with two parts


No head or radula

Gills expanded and folded used to obtain oxygen, and filter

and sort food particles from water
Scallops also filter feed. Many have striking color patters.
Class Bivalvia

Inner surface of shell lined w/ mantle so whole

body lies in mantle cavity

Strong muscles used to close valves

Class Bivalvia

Clams burrow in sand or mud and water drawn in

and out of mantle by siphons
Allow clam to feed and obtain oxygen while buried
Class Bivalvia

Mussels secrete byssal threads that attach them to

rocks and other surfaces
Class Bivalvia

Oysters cement their left shell to hard

surface and other to another oyster
Pearls occur when irritating particles are
lodged within the mantle cavity and
covered by secretions (CaCO3) from
Class Bivalvia

Some scallops can swim by rapidly ejecting water

from mantle cavity with siphon
Class Bivalvia

Shipworm bores in mangroves, driftwood, and

Have symbiotic relationship w/ bacteria in the gut that
digests wood
Valves lie at the inner end of tunnel lined w/ calcium
carbonate and siphon protrudes from entrance
Fouling organism = settles on bottoms of boats, pilings,
and other submerged surfaces
Putting Your Head and Feet Together
Class Cephalopoda (head footed)

Predators specialized in locomotion

Octopi, squid, and cuttlefish
Agile swimmers w/ complex nervous system and reduction
or loss of shell
All are marine
Cephalopod (General Morphology)

While still following the basic body plan of a mollusc, octopi

are highly specialized.
Cephalopod (General Morphology)
Large eyes on side of head

Thick muscular mantle which protects head

Water enters mantel and leaves through siphon = jet propulsion

Cephalopod: Octopi

Eight long arms (2 in to 30 feet)
Bottom dwellers that live in crevices, bottles, etc
Have beak-like jaws and radula to rasp flesh and secrete
paralyzing substance
Distract predators with dark fluid from ink sac
Cephalopod: Squid

Two triangular fins on mantle better swimmers than
Can remain motionless, move forward, or backward
Eight arms and two tentacles, all with suckers
Has pen in upper surface of mantle
Few cm to 60 feet!!
Cephalopod: Cuttlefish

Eight arms and two tentacles, but body flatten w/ fin
running along the body
Have calcified internal shell aids in buoyancy
Cephalopod: Chambered Nautilus

Chambered Nautilus
Coiled external shell containing gas filled chambers
serves as buoyancy organ
Has suckerless tentacles
Other Molluscs

Chitons (class Polyplacophora bearer of many plates)

All marine
Eight overlapping shell plates covering dorsal surface
Live in shallow hard bottoms
Have radula to rasp algae
Other Molluscs

Tusk shells or scaphopods (class Scaphopoda)

Elongated shell tapered at end resembling elephant tusk
Sandy muddy bottoms in deep water
Many species have thin tentacles to capture small prey

Tusk shell
hermit crab
Biology of Molluscs: Nervous System

Gastropods and bivalves have ganglia (local

brains) located in different parts of body
Biology of Molluscs: Nervous System

Most complex of invertebrates
Brains coordinate and store information
Complex eye reflects development
Octopi and cuttlefish can learn
Biology of Molluscs: Nervous System

Display rapid color change coordinated with behaviors
and moods, from sexual display to camouflage
Cuttlefish flash lights while octopi change color and
behavior to mimic poisonous fish and sea snakes
Biology of Molluscs: Reproduction and
Life History
Most have separate sexes (some hermaphroditic)

Bivalves, chitons, tusk snails, and some gastropods

release sperm and egg into water

Cephalopods and most gastropods internal

Biology of Molluscs: Reproduction and
Life History
Cephalopods modified arm to transfer
Develop in yolk-filled eggs attached to crevices
Female dies guarding eggs = no food

Some have trochophore larvae, displaying

relationship to segmented worms
Kings of Camouflage