Molluscs

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Macoma nasuta
Macoma nasuta
© 2004 UCMP

Argopecten irradians
Argopecten irradians
© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum

Coralliochama orcutti
Coralliochama orcutti
© 2009 Ana Luisa Carreno

What are Molluscs? One of the largest and most diverse groups, the Mollusca includes the easily recognizable clams, slugs, snails, and squid, as well as less familiar animals such as chitons, tusk shells, and monoplacophorans. The extinct ammonites and belemnites are also molluscs. All molluscs possess a mantle, a sheath of tissue formed from the body wall. Most have a shell made of calcium carbonate that is secreted by the mantle. Molluscs can be found on land, as well as in freshwater and marine environments, from tide pools to the deep ocean trenches.

First known fossil occurrence: Cambrian.

Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.

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