Phylum Mollusca General Characteristics 50,000 or more species of molluscs. They share 3 major sets of characteristics: Body enclosed by a blanket-like mantle that secretes a shell made of calcium or some other stiff structure. A mantle cavity between the mantle and the internal organs; the anus, reproductive, and excretory ducts open into the mantle
cavity. A ventral, muscular foot that is highly modified among the various groups of molluscs. Mollusc Body Plan General Characteristics Contd
Free-living, multicellular animals Invertebrates (lack a backbone) Unsegmented Have a true coelom Bilateral symmetry Have a true heart Simple to complex nervous system
Habitats & Niches Some mollusc habitats include: Marine (mostly) Freshwater (a few) Land (a few) Mollusc niches (life-style): Most live on the ocean bottom and are mostly sedentary Some are free-swimming (the cephalopods)
The six major mollusc classes There are seven mollusc classes, of which we will study 6 of them. Those 6 classes are: Monoplacophora (mono=single; placo=shell; phora=bearing) Ex. Neopilina Aplacophora (a=without) Ex. Neomenia
Polyplacophora (poly=many) Ex. Chitons Gastropoda (gastro=body cavity; poda=foot) Ex. Common garden snail, abalone, turban snail Bivalvia (bi=two; valvia=valves) Ex. Clam Cephalopoda (cephalo=dealing with head; poda=foot) Ex. Squid, octopus, etc.
Class Monoplacophora Neopilina is the only genus in this entire class. These creatures were discovered in the 1950s while dredging the deep ocean. Specifically, they can be found around South & Central America. Prior to 1950s only fossil records were found. Their specific characteristics include: Single shell Broad, rounded foot Evidence of segmentation
They have 5-6 pairs of gills & eights pairs of foot retractors. This segmentation suggests an ancestral relationship with annelids. Class Monoplacophora Class Aplacophora Specific characteristics: Wormlike body No shell, but has a body wall made up of calcium spicules (think of the
sponges). It is this that puts them in the phylum mollusca They are generally found on the ocean floor. Class Polyplacophora Chitons are the only genus in the class Polyplacophora. Their specific characteristics: Posses a shell that consists of 8
overlapping plates. Thick mantle Broad foot Distinguishable head They have a tongue-like toothcovered rasping organ (radula) to scrape algae and other food. Class Gastropoda Most popular class of molluscs. Consists of snails and snail-like creatures. Specific characteristics:
They have a dorsally located shell (often coiled). They have a well-developed radula. Visceral mass (organs) is located inside the shell. Their visceral mass is rotated 180 degrees during development. They are herbivores or predatory (carnivorous). Habitats include: ocean, lake, river bottoms, coastal shores, and land.
Class Bivalvia Specific Characteristics: They have no head. They have two shells held together by powerful muscles. They have a ventrally located foot that sticks out between the two valves. Habitats include: marine and freshwater. They tend to burrow into soft
mud or sand or attach to rocks or other shells. Large gills are used for respiration and filter feeding. Food is trapped by mucus on the gills and moved by cilia. Water enters and exits through siphons. Class Bivalvia
Class Cephalopoda Contains the largest molluscs. Specific Characteristics: May lack a shell (like an octopus) Shell may be reduced to a stiffening rod (like the squid or nautilus) The foot is highly modified to form a group of tentacles around the mouth. They are found in deep and shallow waters along many coasts. Squids & Nautilus are free-swimming and move very quickly. Octopuses are found among rocks or
crawling on the bottom of the ocean. Complex brain, two lateral eyes, excellent eyesight. We will dissect a squid. If you are allergic to shellfish then speak up now!!! Class Cephalopod Any Questions????
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