More Mollusks

The jingle shell ( Anomia simplex ) is a common bivalve found on the Atlantic coast of North America, amongst the more commonly known clams and oysters. As with oysters, the lower shell is glued to a...
This bivalve mollusk is native to the Caspian Sea, lagoons of the Black Sea, and their inflowing rivers. It lives in fresh and brackish water and cannot tolerate full seawater. In the 18th and 19th...
Invasive species can have a range of environmental and economic impacts. In this photo sea squirts foul an oyster cage. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Marine Invasions...
When I set out to write a book about mollusks (called Spirals in Time ), I wasn't quite prepared for just how many animals I would get to know. There are somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 mollusk...
Shellfish from the Chesapeake Bay are prized by seafood lovers. But the Bay's ecosystem and fisheries are threatened by human disturbances, including the introduction of non-native species. Non-...
The Great Barrier Reef site in Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. The site is the world’s most extensive stretch of coral reef with probably the richest animal diversity...
A longshoreman stands in front of a large pile of oyster shells on waterfront pier in Atlantic City in 1910. Back then, oysters were incredibly abundant. In the late 1800s, fishermen pulled in 10...
Over a 10-year period, NOAA scientists have collected 72,000 seawater samples, and their data show that the ocean is becoming more acidic because of climate change . That small change in acidity is...
Come one, come all! See the amazing, the astonishing, half-animal, half-plant! Journey to Tampa Bay, Florida, where scientist Skip Pierce and one of his students first made a remarkable discovery...
Rudist clams are mollusks that went extinct about 65 million years ago. They were the reef builders of the Cretaceous Period, the heyday of the dinosaurs. Today corals have taken over the role...
Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't...
The feathery strands at the back of this nudibranch’s ( Chromodoris willani ) body are no mere adornment: they’re its gills! Nudibranchs, shell-less snails or sea slugs, are named for these tufted...
This illustration shows the edge of a warm inland sea during the Cretaceous Period, heyday of the dinosaurs. Constantly shifting sediment supported new groups of organisms, including rudist clams—...
A chambered nautilus shell.
Like it or not, giant squids are related to snails, clams, and even slugs. They are all mollusks and have soft, fleshy bodies. More can be found in the Giant Squid section .
Rapa whelks , native to Asia, have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and are raising concerns about economic and ecological impacts to the Bay region due to their shellfish diet. Scientists believe that...
About 100 million years ago , during the heyday of the dinosaurs, reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams. Like modern clams, rudists were bivalves , with two shells (or valves) joined at a...
Giant clams are one of the many wonders of coral reefs. They can grow up to five feet wide, weigh over 400 pounds, and live for 100 years! They power all that bulk by filter feeding microbes and...
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