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 Chittenango ovate amber snail, scientific name Novisuccinea chittenangoensis, is a species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial gastropod mollusk in the family Succineidae, the amber snails. This species is endemic to a very restricted part of the Chittenango area in Madison County, New York, United States. The one extant population is at Chittenango Falls State Park in central New York. It was discovered in 1905.
The only verified extant colony of Novisuccinea chittenangoensis is the type-population at Chittenango Falls, in Chittenango Falls State Park, 3.6 miles north of Cazenovia, between the Towns of Cazenovia and Chittenango, in Madison County, New York. At various times in the past, the species has been thought to have a broader range. To date, although many potentially suitable colony sites have been searched, no colony has been conclusively identified as Novisuccinea chittenangoensis outside of the Chittenango Falls area. The snails survives in and presumably prefer, cool, partially sunlit areas of lush herbaceous growth within the spray zone of the Falls. (Read more...)
David Dwight Baldwin
(1831–1912) was a businessman, educator, and biologist on Maui
in the Hawaiian islands
. Within biology he is known for his contributions to the study of Hawaiian land snails
, the terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks
of the Hawaiian Islands.
Baldwin was born on November 26, 1831 in Honolulu. His father was early missionary doctor Dwight Baldwin (1798–1886), and his mother was Charlotte Fowler Baldwin (1805–1873). After a few years living in Waimea, the family moved to the island of Maui in about 1837. Baldwin lived in Connecticut for a time and received both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts from Yale.
In 1890, he moved to Haʻikū, where his younger brother Henry Perrine Baldwin (1842–1911) had founded the agricultural venture Alexander & Baldwin with his brother-in-law Samuel Thomas Alexander (1836–1904). At this time Baldwin devoted much of his efforts to studying mollusks, i.e. to malacology, specifically the study of Hawaiian land snails, some of which he named and described. In addition, several land snail species in the family Achatinellidae were named in honor of him, as well as a subgenus Baldwinia of the genus Partulina. He produced the first catalog of Hawaiian land snails and freshwater snails in 1893. (Read more...)
- ... that the Cretaceous snail Condonella was described in 1927, but not placed into a snail family until 2000?
... that Acmella nana (shell pictured) is the smallest known land snail?
... 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 northernmost 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.
- 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.