Snails and slugs

Snails and slugs, know as gastropods, are the largest group of molluscs and contain about 70% of all mollusc species.

Pond Snail Illustration

Andrew Howells © Australian Museum

Gastropods include marine species such as turban snails, periwinkles, cowries, limpets, abalones, nerites, whelks and sea slugs (opisthobranchs), as well as freshwater snails and terrestrial snails and slugs (pulmonates).

Gastropod is a Greek word meaning 'stomach foot'. Although gastropods do move around on a large, sliding foot, it is not actually their stomach. The stomach is protected inside their shell. Most gastropods carry a single shell for protection and feed using a kind of rasping tongue with teeth called a radula.


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