Paleontology of Molluscs

Because of their hard shells molluscs are well represented in the fossil record. There are Precambrian (Ediacran) fossils that could well be primitive molluscs. And a Precambrian fossil Kimberella is thought to be a mollusc. Here is another article about Kimberella. And there were definitely gastropods, cephalopods and bivalves in the Cambrian.

At the beginning of cephalopod evolution they all had shells. Cephalopods like the Ammonites are very abundant in the fossil record. Here is a discussion of the fossil molluscs of England’s Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. And more about Ammonites.

General Info

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    Book with pencil

Role in Ecosystem

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    Bee with arrows around it


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    Thermometer and waves

Human Interaction

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    Human next to globe


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    Skull of dinosaur
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    Lesson Plan
    Life in the Fast Lane – From Hunted to Hunter
    Lab dissection of a squid, a member of Class Cephalopoda (along with the octopus and nautilus). Supported by several Shape of Life segments, students interpret squid adaptations as a radical case of divergent evolution: A line of ancestral snails abandoned the life of sluggish grazing and foraging in favor of a new niche as speedy open water predators.

    Full Lesson Plan