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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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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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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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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Tomato Clownfish

The Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Pomacentridae family of clownfish and damselfish. It is also known as the Blackback Anemonefish, Bridled Anemonefish, Fire Clown, or Red Tomato Clownfish.

The Tomato Clownfish has an oval-shaped, flat, compressed body. It is yellow and orange, or reddish, or blackish. Many have white bars or patches behind their eyes, with a black outline. The female is mainly blackish on her sides.

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Saddleback Clownfish

The Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus) is a small tropical marine (saltwater) reef fish. It is also known as the Yellowfin Anemonefish or the Panda Clownfish.

The Saddleback Clownfish has brownish-black and white vertical bands, with a white ‘saddle’ in the middle of its back. The first white band is behind its eyes. It also has yellow fins and yellow eyes. It has an oval-shaped body.

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Purple-Striped Jellyfish

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish (Chrysaora colorata) is a soft-bodied invertebrate marine (saltwater) animal. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones. It is also known as the Purple-Striped Sea Nettle. 

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish has a translucent (see-through) bell-shaped or umbrella-shaped dome body with purple stripes. It has long tentacles (limbs) with eight long dark purple arms and four ‘frilly’ arms. It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no bones, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in its body that enables it to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch. It is about 98% water.

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Plankton Star Jellyfish

The Plankton Star Jellyfish (Oceania sp.) is a soft-bodied invertebrate marine (saltwater) plankton animal. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones. It is related to the Turritiopsis. 

The Plankton Star Jellyfish is translucent (see-through) with an umbrella-shaped circular dome and long tentacles (arms). It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no bones, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in its body that enables it to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch. 

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Pacific Cleaner Shrimp

The Pacific Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean. It is related to crabs and lobsters. It is also known as the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp.

The Pacific Cleaner Shrimp is pale with long scarlet bands on its shell. Its shell is called a carapace. It has several white spots on its red tail. It has two pairs of long antennae (4 antennae in total). One antenna is forked into two parts, making it look as if there are three pairs of antennae. It is a decapod, with 10 legs. Two of its legs – the ones in the front, near its head, are pincers. Pincers are also called nippers or claws. Its eyes are located at the tip of each of its two short stalks on its head.

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Starlet Cushion Starfish

The Starlet Cushion Starfish (Asterina gibbosa) is a small marine (saltwater) invertebrate (without an inner skeleton) echinoderm. It is not a fish.  Zoologists prefer to call it the Starlet Cushion Sea Star.

The Starlet Cushion Starfish has five short blunt arms and a puffy appearance that looks like a cushion. Its upper surface has short, sharp spines. It can be blue, brown, green, or orange. Its mouth is on its underside in the centre.

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Bluegreen Giant Clam

The Bluegreen Giant Clam (Tridacna derasa) is a marine (saltwater) reef bi-valve mollusc in the Cardiidae family. It is also called the Southern Giant Clam. It is related to the Cockle.

The Bluegreen Giant Clam is smoother than most clams, because it lacks ridging. It 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). It has 6-7 rippled edges, called folds or flute. It does not have scutes (scales). The mantle has stripes or spots and is blue and green, with some white patches. It has a mouth, a heart, kidneys, a stomach, and a nervous system.

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Giant Clam

The Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa) is a marine (saltwater) reef bi-valve mollusc (mollusk).  It is also called the Fluted Giant Clam or the Scaly Clam. It is related to the Cockle.

The Giant Clam has a thick brown, green, or purple-coloured ridged 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 has 6-7 rippled edges, called folds or flutes. It has scales, called scutes. It has spotted patterns on the mantle. It has a mouth, a heart, kidneys, a stomach, and a nervous system.

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Medicinal Leech

The Medicinal Leech (Hirudo verbenaand Hirudo medicinalis) is an invertebrate parasitic worm, and an annelid. It is related to the earthworm. It is called medicinal because doctors have used the leech to draw blood from patients.

There are two types of true leeches: Rhynchobdellida (with a proboscis to puncture the skin of animals) and Arhynchobdellida (without a proboscis). The Medicinal Leech (Hirudo verbena) is a Arhynchobdellida Hirudiniformes (a leech without a proboscis, but with jaws at the front of the mouth).

The Medicinal Leech has a flat, soft, muscular, segmented body without a backbone or skeleton. Therefore, it is an invertebrate. Its upper part is grey with pinkish stripes, or  mottled grey-pink-brown, and its underbelly is pale-grey. Its body can lengthen and contract (i.e. get bigger and smaller) as it moves. It has suckers on it mouth and its tail end (anterior and posterior suckers).

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