Aplacophora: shell-less and worm-like
Known as the naked mollusks, they are worm-like in body form and lack shells but have many calcareous spicules. They can be found in oceans all over the world in very deep water. Some of these features are found in certain subgroups within the Aplacophora. Molluscan features: Narrow foot, mantle, radula.
Shell composed of 8 plates, most live in shallow water. Molluscan features: shell, ventral foot, mantle, radula.
These tiny single shell animals were only known as fossils until 1952 when a live monoplacophoran was discovered more than 11,000 feet deep off the coast of Costa Rica.Very rare; only a few specimens known. Found in very deep water. Molluscan features: shell, ventral foot, mantle, radula.
Bivalvia: Clams, Mussels, Oysters
Second largest group of mollusks. Possibly the most important group to our own region in terms of economics and the health of our
aquatic ecosystems. As efforts are underway around the region to restore the fisheries and waterways, the Museum’s historic records of the
bivalves that occurred in the area provide conservationists a glimpse of the fauna once found in the state’s streams, bays, and coastline. Molluscan features: shell, foot, mantle.
Gastropoda: Slugs and Snails
The largest and most diverse group of mollusks, found in largest number of environments. Great indicators as to the health of an ecosystem, as they are susceptible to changing environmental pressures. Molluscan features: shell, foot, mantle radula.
Scaphopoda: tusk-shaped shells
These mollusks are tooth or tusk shaped. They live in sediment offshore. Entirely marine group, conserved morphology. Molluscan features: shell, foot, mantle, radula.
Most active group, containing some of the largest, most mobile, and most intelligent mollusks with a highly developed visual sense. They also have a long fossil history and include the belemnite, the Delaware state fossil. Molluscan features: shell (internal), foot, mantle, radula.