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Malacology

Malacology is the study of mollusks. This includes animals like octopus, snails, slugs, and clams. It is the second largest phylum of animals, making them one of the most successful groups on the planet. There are over 80,000 described species of mollusks with many more left to be discovered. Mullusca is composed of 8 recognized classes including Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, Polyplacophora, Scaphapoda, Monoplacophorans, the Aplacophorans, Caudofoveata and Solenogastres, and Bivalvia.

Mollusca Classes

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Bivalvia

Bivalves

Clams, Oysters, mussels, ect.

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Scaphapoda

Scaphapods

Tusk shells or tooth shells

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Gastropoda

Gastropods

Snails, Slugs, ect.

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Monoplacophora

...

...

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Cephalopoda

Cephalopods

Octopus, squids, nautilus, ect.

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Caudofoveata

...

...

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Polyplacophora

Chiton

Chiton, ect.

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Solenogastres

Solenogasters

...

Mollusks and the Environment

It is important to understand the environmental pressures affecting mollusks. These include things like temperature, salinity and oxygen availability.

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Shell Identification Guide

Our shell identification catalog currently encompasses the shells of the Eastern coast of the United States. This guide does not include every shell that exists with this range but covers the shells that are likely to be encountered there as well as some rare shells.

Parts of a Shell

Understanding the parts of a shell can make identification guides easier to use and help us understand the organisms that these shell belong to. Learn more about shell morphology with our guide to gastropod shells!

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