from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A taxonomic phylum within the superphylum Protostomia — the molluscs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plural proper n. One of the grand divisions of the animal kingdom, a phylum including the classes Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, Pteropoda, Scaphopoda, and Pelecyopoda (syn. Bivalvia, formerly called Lamellibranchiata, or Conchifera). These animals have an unsegmented bilateral body, with most of the organs and parts paired, but not repeated longitudinally. Most of them develop a mantle, which incloses either a branchial or a pulmonary cavity. They are generally more or less covered and protected by a calcareous shell, which may be univalve, bivalve, or multivalve.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin mollusca, feminine singular of molluscus ("soft"), from mollis ("soft").


  • Considering that the Mollusca is the 2nd most speciose phylum, after the Arthropoda, one would think that there would be proportionately more information about them on the Information Highway.

    Where are all the malacologists?

  • The word Mollusca only meant that the creatures grouped together had soft bodies, unsupported by internal or external articulated skeletons; and this character, or, rather, absence of character, was applied alike to many totally dissimilar creatures.

    Thomas Henry Huxley A Sketch Of His Life And Work

  • Another great sub-kingdom called Mollusca contains all snails, slugs, cuttle-fishes, and creatures of the oyster and scallop class.

    The Common Frog

  • As it happens that one species of a family will endure for a much longer period than another species, so we find that some whole groups, such as Mollusca, tend to retain their forms, or to remain persistent, for longer periods than other groups, for instance than the Mammalia.

    The Foundations of the Origin of Species Two Essays written in 1842 and 1844

  • Mollusca does have considerable economic importance, both positive and negative, as food, as crop pests, and as vectors of diseases such as Schistosomiasis and liver fluke.

    Where are all the malacologists?

  • As far as numbers go, the whole phylum Mollusca, although large (maybe 93,000 species recognized), isn't anywhere near to being in the same town, let alone in the same ballpark, as the class Insecta with 6 to 10 million.

    Where are all the malacologists?

  • A little more than a year ago, while searching Google Books for the occurrences of the name of the slug Limax maximus, I discovered a full copy of Barbut's worm book* The genera Vermium exemplified by various specimens of the animals contained in the orders of the Intestina et Mollusca Linnaei.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • * Pilsbry, however, didn't mention the species 'tree climbing habit in his Land Mollusca of North America.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • For example, James Barbut wrote in his 1783 book The genera Vermium exemplified by various specimens of the animals contained in the orders of the Intestina et Mollusca Linnaei that the slug Arion ater "is an [sic] hermaphrodite, both sexes being in each individual, and both in the coitus impregnate, and are impregnated, at the same time."

    Who discovered that pulmonate snails and slugs are hermaphrodites?

  • – Land Mollusca drive me mad, & I cannot anyhow get their eggs to experimentise on their power of floating & resistance to injurious action of salt-water.

    Archive 2009-03-01


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