Orange mollusc


Mollusc Videos


  • Molluscs: The Survival Game


  • Mollusc Animation: Squid Body Plan
  • Mollusc Animation: Nautilus Body Plan
  • Mollusc Animation: Shell Repair
  • Mollusc Animation: Abalone


  • Molluscs: Octopus Camouflage
  • Molluscs: Nautilus Regulates Its Buoyancy
  • Molluscs: Moon Snail Preys On Cockles
  • Molluscs: Pycnopodia Chases Abalone
  • Molluscs: Octopus Catching Crab
  • Molluscs: Blue-Ringed Octopus Warning Coloration


  • Peter Ward, Paleontologist: The Ancient Nautilus
  • Geerat Vermeij, Evolutionary Biologist: Reading A Shell’s Story

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

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    Spread out octopus
    Molluscs: Beauty and Diversity
    The diversity of molluscs shows how a fleshy soft body plan can evolve into a variety of forms.

    Download Factsheet

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    Closeup of suckers from tentacle of octopus
    Molluscs: Armor and Speed, the Survival Game
    "As the tide rises, the closed molluscs opens a fraction to the ocean's food, bathed in its riches. Do not ask what force would do, or if force could. A knife is no use against a fortress."

    Download Reading