study of the Mollusca
Gastropods A.Cassis madagascarensis (Cassididae), B.Charonia variegata (Cymatiidae), C.Chicoreus brevifrons (Muricidae) D.Tonna galea (Tonnidae), E.Nerita pelotonta (Neritidae), F. Tonna maculosa (Tonnidae), G.Turbinella angulata (Turbinellidae), H.Turritella variegata (Turritellidae), I.Vasun muricatum (Turbinellidae).

Malacology is the study of molluscs. These animals include snails, slugs, octopus, squid, and bivalves generally, such as clams and mussels. Most of them have shells. The shells are often collected for their beauty and interest. Many people eat molluscs, especially those people who live near the ocean.

Those scientists who study molluscs are called malacologists. They identify and classify them, and find out everything they can about their lives.


Types of gastropodsEdit

The gastropods are the most common type of mollusec. They have about 70,000 described species.

  • marine gastropod
  • non-marine gastropod
    • freshwater gastropod: with very few exceptions, the only freshwater molluscs are freshwater snails
      • freshwater snail
    • terrestrial gastropod: gastropods are the only group of molluscs which have some species living on land

Types of bivalvesEdit

With 20,000 described species, bivalves are the second commonest class of molluscs. There are several classifications of bivalves in use. This is a rough guide:


Malacologist and friend


Museums that have either exceptional malacological research collections (behind the scenes) and/or exceptional public exhibits of molluscs:

Some mollusksEdit