Terrestrial molluscs
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Terrestrial molluscs or land molluscs (mollusks) are an
ecological Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biology ...
group that includes all
molluscs Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as molluscs or mollusks (). Around 85,000 extant taxon, extant species of molluscs are recognized. The number of fossil species is es ...

molluscs
that live on
land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...

land
in contrast to
freshwater Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical subs ...
and
marine Marine is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the sea or ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
marine
molluscs. They probably first occurred in the
Carboniferous The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisi ...
, arising from freshwater ones.


Characteristics

This group includes
land snail A land snail is any of the numerous species of snail that live on land, as opposed to the sea snails and freshwater snails. ''Land snail'' is the common name for terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial gastropod mollusks that have gastropod shell, shel ...

land snail
s and
land slug Slug, or land slug, is a common name for any apparently shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc. The word ''slug'' is also often used as part of the common name of any gastropod mollusc that has no shell, a very reduced shell, or only a smal ...
s. Loss of the shell has taken place many times in different groups that are not evolutionarily closely related, and land snails and slugs are most often treated together as a single group in specialized malacological literature.Barker G. M. (ed.)
The biology of terrestrial molluscs
'. CABI Publishing, 2001, 558 pp. .
Barker G. M. (ed.)
Natural enemies of terrestrial molluscs
'. CABI Publishing, 2004, 644 pp. .
All terrestrial molluscs belong to the class
Gastropoda The gastropods (), commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may a ...

Gastropoda
. However, colonization of the land took place several times during the
evolutionary Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes that are passed on from parent to offsp ...
past, and as a result terrestrial molluscs are classified in several different, often not closely related, gastropod
taxa In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanism ...
. Terrestrial mollusks comprise about 35 thousand species, most of which belong to the order (in some sources suborder or infraorder)
Stylommatophora Stylommatophora is an orderPhilippe Bouchet, Jean-Pierre Rocroi, Bernhard Hausdorf, Andrzej Kaim, Yasunori Kano, Alexander Nützel, Pavel Parkhaev, Michael Schrödl and Ellen E. Strong. 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator and Typification ...

Stylommatophora
. Terrestrial molluscs occur across most of the planet, with the exception of
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of . At 0.00 ...

Antarctica
and some islands. They inhabit a wide range of ecosystems, from
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desert
s and
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the ...

tundra
s to
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
s. In terms of survival, this group of species is currently one of the most threatened; there are more known species
extinctions Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the endling, last individual of the species, although the Functional extin ...
of terrestrial molluscs than in any other group of organisms.Cameron R. ''Slugs and snails''. HarperCollins Publishers, London, 2016, 508 pp. .


Taxonomic diversity

According to an estimate from Cameron, of the 409 existing gastropod Family (biology), families, 119 include terrestrial molluscs. Among these 119 families, 104 are
Stylommatophora Stylommatophora is an orderPhilippe Bouchet, Jean-Pierre Rocroi, Bernhard Hausdorf, Andrzej Kaim, Yasunori Kano, Alexander Nützel, Pavel Parkhaev, Michael Schrödl and Ellen E. Strong. 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator and Typification ...

Stylommatophora
, 7 are terrestrial Pulmonata, pulmonates other than stylommatophorans, and 8 are operculates (formerly "Prosobranchia, prosobranchs", molluscs with an Operculum (gastropod), operculum, a group that primarily consists of sea snail, marine snails). "Prosobranchs" *Cyclophoroidea (up to 10 families in different classifications) *Helicinidae, Proserpinellidae and Proserpinidae (in the superfamily Helicinoidea) *Pomatiidae (in the superfamily Littorinoidea, which consist mainly of sea snail, marine snails) *Assimineidae and Truncatellidae (in the superfamily Truncatelloidea, which consist mainly of aquatic snails; most species semi-marine) "Pulmonates" *Amphiboloidea (three families of land and semi-marine snails) *Ellobioidea (Ellobiida) (1-5 families in different classifications, some of the species live in litoral both in marine and terrestrial habitats) *Systellommatophora (3 families of land and semi-marine slugs) *
Stylommatophora Stylommatophora is an orderPhilippe Bouchet, Jean-Pierre Rocroi, Bernhard Hausdorf, Andrzej Kaim, Yasunori Kano, Alexander Nützel, Pavel Parkhaev, Michael Schrödl and Ellen E. Strong. 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator and Typification ...

Stylommatophora
(more than 100 families of land snails and slugs)


Best known terrestrial malacologists

*Oskar Boettger *Jacques Philippe Raymond Draparnaud *Wilhelm Kobelt *Henry Augustus Pilsbry *Emil Adolf Rossmässler *Heinrich Simroth *Carl Agardh Westerlund


See also

* Land snail * Land slug *
Stylommatophora Stylommatophora is an orderPhilippe Bouchet, Jean-Pierre Rocroi, Bernhard Hausdorf, Andrzej Kaim, Yasunori Kano, Alexander Nützel, Pavel Parkhaev, Michael Schrödl and Ellen E. Strong. 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator and Typification ...

Stylommatophora
* Freshwater mollusc * Freshwater snail * Sea snail


References


Most important literature

* Barker G. M. (ed.)
The biology of terrestrial molluscs
'. CABI Publishing, 2001, 558 pp. . * Cameron R. ''Slugs and snails''. HarperCollins Publishers, London, 2016, 508 pp. {{ISBN, 978-0-00-711301-9. Mollusc ecology Molluscs by adaptation