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Pima Community College


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  GLG 140 Intro to Ocean.
  Bio 183 Marine Biology

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Phylum Mollusca

Molluscs 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.

The 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.

Click 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.

To take a practice quiz on the Phylum Mollusca, click here.



page last updated on 7/15/03

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