Garden Snail

The Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Helicidae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Garden Snail can be varied in colour, but its shell is mainly dark-brown, with stripes, flecks, or streaks in a lighter colour. The shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell.It has a brown lip. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has tentacles on its head. Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

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Grove Unbanded Snail

The Grove Unbanded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Helicidae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is also known as the Brown-Lipped Snail. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Grove Snail can be varied in its appearance. The surface of its shell is semi-glossy. The shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell.The colour of its shell can be reddish, brownish, yellow, or creamy-white, with or without bands. The Grove Unbanded Snail’s shell is tan-brown and does not have prominent dark-brown bands or stripes. It has a white lip. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has tentacles on its head. Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

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What are the similarities and differences between the Giant Clam and the Maxima Clam?

What are the similarities and differences between the Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa) and the Maxima Clam (Tridacna maxima)?

The Giant Clam and the Maxima Clam are both marine (saltwater), bivalve molluscs in the Cardiidae family. Bivalve means two valves (or two shells). They both prefer to live on the bottom of the ocean in shallow coral reefs.

The Giant Clam and the Maxima Clam both have a thick, ridged calcium carbonate shell, called a mantle. Their shells, which can open and close, have two equal-sized calcareous valves connected with a flexible adductor muscle. 

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Maxima Clam

The Maxima Clam (Tridacna maxima) is a marine (saltwater) bivalve mollusc in the Cardiidae family. It is also called the Small Giant Clam. It is related to the Cockle. 

The Maxima Clam has a thick shell called a mantle. Its shell is actually two equal-sized calcareous valves connected with a flexible adductor muscle. The shell can open and close. Bi-valve means two valves (or two shells). The mantle is bright-blue, green, or brown with distinctive furrows. It has a mouth, a heart, kidneys, a stomach, and a nervous system. 

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Common Periwinkle

The Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea) is a small marine (saltwater) gastropod mollusc in the Littorinidae family of whelks and sea snails. 

The Common Periwinkle has a thick, dark, grey-brown shell, that is sometimes banded. The inside of the shell is chocolate brown. It has 6-7 whorls. It has gills that enable it to breathe underwater. It has a lid on its shell, called an operculum. 

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Florida Horse Conch

The Florida Horse Conch (Triplofusus papillosus) is a large tropical marine (saltwater) gastropod mollusc in the Fasciolariidae family of sea spindle snails and tulip snails. It is not a true conch shell from the Strombidae family of sea snails.

The Florida Horse Conch is greyish-white or brownish with a light-brown or dark-brown periostracum, which is the thin coating on its shell. It has a long siphonal canal and up to 10 whorls around its shell. It can retract the soft part of its body entirely into its shell and close the operculum (lid). The soft part of its body is bright orange. 

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European Pond Snail

The European Pond Snail (Radix peregra) is an air-breathing, freshwater mollusc in the Lymnaeidae family of pond snails. It is an aquatic pulmonate gastropod. It is an invertebrate because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The European Pond Snail has a brown shell that spirals clockwise. It has four whorls with fine grooves. The last whorl is next to the opening. Its tentacles are short, and the posterior end of its foot is round.

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Round Mouthed Snail

The Round Mouthed Snail (Pomatias elegans) is a small, air-breathing, terrestrial (land) gastropod mollusc in the Pomatiidae family of operculate land snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Round Mouthed Snail has a thick, whitish, conical shell and wide mouth with a chalky operculum (lid) at the rear of its body. The shell forms a whorl. The top of the spire points upward and the opening of its mouth is on the right – so it has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. It can close its shell’s mouth with its lid. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has only one pair of tentacles on its head (instead of two pairs). Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

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Dog Whelk Sea Snail

The Dog Whelk Sea Snail (Nucella lapillus) is a marine (saltwater) mollusc gastropod in the Muricidae family of rock sea snails. It is also called the Atlantic Dogwinkle. 

The Dog Whelk is usually whitish-grey, but it can be a variety of colours, such as orange, yellow, brown, black, or banded. It has a hard, external shell, called an exo-skeleton, that is smooth with a pointed spire. It has a short, straight siphon canal. The shell shape varies, depending upon the tidal waves, but it is usually rounded and spirally corded. Most of its body is made of whorls. The aperture (hole or lip) is quite wide.

The Dog Whelk, like other Sea Snails, has a single auricle (chamber) in its heart, and a single pair of gill slits for breathing. 

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Common Octopus

The Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate (soft-bodied) mollusc in the Octopodidae family. Octopod means eight limbs. It is a cephalopod, related to the squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus. 

The Common Octopus has a soft hollow body called a mantle. Its body can change shape and squeeze into small gaps. The mantle has gills (to breath), a brain, and a parrot-beaked mouth. Surrounding the mouth is eight limbs with suckers. It has two large eyes with excellent sight. It has three hearts.

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Soft-Shell Clam

The Soft-Shell Clam (Mya arenaria) is a marine (saltwater) bivalve mollusc in the Myidae family. It is also known as the Sand Gaper.

The Soft-Shell Clam has an elongated calcium carbonate shell that is thin and fragile (beach clams have thicker shells). The shell is called a mantle. It has two valves (two halves), joined together by a ligament hinge with two adductor muscles that enable it to open and close. It has paired siphons which helps it to breathe when it is under the mud. It has light-sensitive cells that can detect light and motion.

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Eurasian Running Crab Spider

The Eurasian Running Crab Spider (Philodromus dispar) is a small arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb weaver araneomorphic spiders. It is also known as the Philodromid Crab Spider. 

The male Eurasian Running Crab Spider is very different and more distinctive than the female. The male has a shiny, iridescent, black body with white edges and pale legs. The male has large palps – mouthparts. The female is pale greyish-white with pale mottled legs and a leaf-like mark on her abdomen. It is not a very hairy spider. It only has a few bristles, called setae. Of its eight legs, its second pair of legs is longer than its other legs.

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Lovely Vallonia Snail

The Lovely Vallonia Snail (Vallonia pulchella) is a very small, air-breathing, land pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Valloniidae family of land snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Lovely Vallonia Snail has an ivory-white round shell that spirals clockwise. Its shell has fine, irregular brownish streaks. Its shell has three whorls. The last whorl is next to the opening. The opening lacks a thick margin like other land snails have. Instead, its shell is thin and light. The tentacles are short, and the posterior end of the foot is round.

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CREATURE FEATURE: True Glass Snail

The True Glass Snail (Aegopinella nitidula) is a small, air-breathing, land pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Gastrodontidae family of glass snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The True Glass Snail has a spiral, heliciform shell that is flattened and disc-shaped with a low spire, like it is a bit squashed. The opening lacks a thick margin like other land snails have. Instead, its shell is thin and light. The shell is almost transparent, as if made of glass, but it usually has light-brown, amber, or dark-brown markings. 

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Iberian Threeband Slug

The Iberian Threeband Slug (Ambigolimax valentianus) is a mollusc in the Limacidae family of air-breathing land slugs; a snail without a shell. It is a terrestrial (land) pulmonate (air-breathing) gastropod (one-footed) mollusc. It is also known as the Greenhouse Slug.

The Iberian Threeband Slug is usually pinkish with two faint narrow or broken bands down its body and mantle (shield on its back, behind its head) with a third midline band on the mantle. It has two pairs of retractable tentacles (feelers) on its head. One pair of tentacles is larger with eyespots on the tips. The lower, or smaller tentacles, provide the sense of smell.

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Anatomy of a Snail’s Head

What does a snail’s head look like?

A snail’s head has one or two pairs of retractable tentacles: upper tentacles and lower tentacles.

The pair of upper tentacles are long and stick into the air. At the tips of each tentacle is a rounded shape, which is the snail’s eye. They are called eye spots. It has two eyes. These tentacles can also smell and taste the air.

The upper tentacles are also called posterior tentacles or major tentacles.

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Cambodia Land Snail

The Cambodia Land Snail (Amphidromus atricallosus classiarius) is a tropical, air-breathing invertebrate gastropod mollusc in the Camaenidae family of arboreal (tree-living) pulmonate land snails. An invertebrate does not have a backbone and gastropod means stomach-footed. 

The Cambodia Land Snail can be varied in colour, often quite colourful but a few species can be dark, with a smooth shell that can be thin and fragile or heavy and solid. Different species have different colours, and can have varied number of whorls, and the direction of the way its shell spirals. It can be dextral shell-coiling (right-handed) or sinistral shell-coiling (left-coiling). The photographed snail is sinistral with a heavy shell. It has 6-8 pale-coloured whorls. It has a large aperture. Its ‘foot’ (soft body) is brown.

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