are bilaterally symmetrical animals with soft bodies that are often
protected by a calcium carbonate shell. The typical
molluscan body plan includes a mantle (a thin layer
of tissue covering the body that secretes the shell), a muscular
foot for locomotion, and a head
with the eyes and other sensory organs. The radula,
a ribbon of small teeth used in feeding, is made of chitin,
a strong carbohydrate-based material. Gas exchange (for respiration)
is through paired gills. Molluscs have a wide variety
of feeding styles, including carnivory, filter feeding, deposit
feeding, and scavenging.
typical molluscan body plan is greatly modified in some of the molluscan
classes. For example, squid have internal shells and octopuses and
a few other molluscs have no shell at all.
on the links below to learn more about different classes of Molluscs
that are found in the intertidal of the Gulf of California. To go
back to the Gallery of Marine Life, click here.
take a practice quiz on the Phylum Mollusca, click here.