are a class
of animals which have no backbone
. In most but not all cases gastropods have a shell
, which is created by the mantle
. Gastropods are commonly known as snails
. They live in the oceans, on land and in freshwater.
This taxonomic class of invertebrate animals with the scientific name Gastropoda is the largest and most successful class within the mollusks, having 60,000–75,000 named living species, and being second only to the insects in terms of diversity and in terms of the number of named species within one class of animals. Living species of gastropods range in size from adult animals that are less than one millimeter (0.039 in) in length, to a few species that are almost a meter (39.4 in) in length.
Scientists who study gastropods (or other mollusks) are known as malacologists. 2,400 years ago, Aristotle, in his History of Animals, wrote about the sea snails from which the dye Tyrian purple is extracted; the genus Murex still bears the name he used. Many gastropods are important food sources, others have human relevance in other ways, ranging from their shells being used as a source of mother of pearl through to their being vectors for several diseases.
Aquamarine or sea green is used on this portal because gastropods first evolved in the oceans, colonized both land and freshwater habitats, and need the presence of water or water vapor in order to be active. The image which is currently the icon for the gastropod portal shows an individual of Helix pomatia, an air-breathing land snail which is well known to gourmets in the Western world because it is one of the European species that is eaten as escargot.
The Socorro springsnail, scientific name Pyrgulopsis neomexicana, is an endangered species of minute freshwater snail with a gill and an operculum, an aquatic gastropod mollusk or micromollusk in the family Hydrobiidae, the mud snails. This tiny snail previously inhabited a small group of thermal springs in the State of New Mexico, USA. Its survival is seriously endangered because its habitat is both vulnerable and severely threatened.
The current status of the population of this snail and its habitat area is unknown. The Socorro springsnail has been listed as endangered by the governments of the United States and the State of New Mexico. Very little is known about this snail in general, because of its minute size, its very restricted range, and the fact that the places where it currently lives are on private property which allows no access. (Read more...)
(1 August 1744, Bazentin
– 18 December 1829), was a French soldier
and an early proponent of the idea that evolution
occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws
. Lamarck fought in the Pomeranian War
, and was awarded a commission for bravery on the battlefield.
At his post in Monaco
, Lamarck became interested in natural history
, starting with botany
. After he published a three-volume work Flora française
, he gained membership of the French Academy of Sciences
in 1779. Lamarck became involved in the Jardin des Plantes
and was appointed to the Chair of Botany in 1788. When the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle
was founded in 1793, Lamarck was appointed as a professor of zoology
In 1801, he published Système des animaux sans vertèbres, a major work on the classification of invertebrates, a term he invented. In an 1802 publication, he became one of the first to use the term biology in its modern sense. Lamarck continued his work as a premier authority on invertebrate zoology. He is remembered, at least in malacology, as a taxonomist of very considerable stature, having named and described many hundreds of taxa of gastropods and other mollusks. (Read more...)
... that the fragile shell of the glassy nautilus Carinaria cristata (pictured) was at one time considered to be worth more than its weight in gold?
... that Spurilla neapolitana (pictured) defends itself with stinging cells derived from the sea anemones it eats?
... that Pupilla pratensis (shell pictured) has long been neglected in the malacological literature?
... that there are 12 endemic species of freshwater snails in Lake Skadar (map pictured)?
... that the land snail Balea sarsii (shell pictured) has been overlooked for a long time?
... that the land snail Vertigo ultimathule (shell pictured) is endemic to the northenmost part of Scandinavia?
... that flashes of light emitted by the sea snail Hinea brasiliana (shell pictured) may act as a "burglar alarm"?
- ... that Candidula arganica, a snail found in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, lives primarily in meadows?
- ... that Candidula spadae, a snail native to Central Italy, is at risk in part because of tourist activities?
... that the subterranean freshwater snail Hauffenia sp. from Slovakia (shell pictured) has been an undescribed species since the 1980s?
... that land snails of the genus Abbottella (Abbottella calliotropis shell pictured) live on the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba?
... that the snail Tonna galea (pictured) is one of very few species of prosobranch gastropods that are luminescent?
... that the land snail Notodiscus hookeri (shell pictured) has unique shell structure among all gastropods?
... that the microscopic cave snail Zospeum tholussum (pictured) is so slow that in a week's time it may only move a few millimeters or centimeters in circles?
... that the land snail Omalonyx convexus (pictured) can also be found submerged among macrophytes?
... that the malacologist S. Peter Dance said the shell of Pterynotus loebbeckei, (pictured), was the "most exquisite natural object" he had ever seen?
... that the only brackish-water pachychilid species, Faunus ater (shell pictured), has a shell that is unique among all the Cerithioidea?
... that the owl limpet (pictured) maintains a small meadow of algal turf for its own exclusive use?
- 16 July 2010: A new subfamily is established within the Chondrinidae.
- A list of new Wikipedia articles about gastropods, including those that simply mention the words snail, slug, conch, etc. A bot creates this list, usually every three days.
The snail Indrella ampulla from a tropical rainforest habitat in India. The shell in this species is reduced: the body cannot be fully retracted into the shell. The mantle is partly visible here as an area of off-white color under the edge of the shell. The rest of the body (head with retractile tentacles and most of the foot) is red. The foot fringe is off-white, with narrow black lines. The large caudal mucous pit is visible at the end of the foot.
- Gastropoda, snail, slug, land snail, freshwater snail, sea snail, sea slug
- Gastropod shell, operculum, radula, love dart, clausilium
- Digestive system of gastropods, respiratory system of gastropods, circulatory system of gastropods, excretory system of gastropods, sensory organs of gastropods, nervous system of gastropods, reproductive system of gastropods
- Taxonomy of the Gastropoda (Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005), and also, changes in the taxonomy of gastropods since 2005
- Gastropods with significant positive human impact
- Gastropods with significant negative human impact
Categories about gastropods:
Request to editors: please do not create any more categories of gastropods by country. Instead create list articles, article with a list of the marine or non-marine gastropods of whichever country or area you are interested in. We would also like to empty and delete the two remaining country categories we have, adding that information to list articles instead. Thank you.