A to Z challenge: G is for Gastropods

The Phylum, Mollusca is the second largest in the anima kingdom. There are five main classes, Gastropods, Bivalves, Scaphopoda, Amphineura and Cephalopoda. 

Most sea-shells belong to either Gastropods or bivalves, the two main classes.

Gastropods have one piece shells that are usually coiled.

Bivalves have two-piece shells, normally hinged.

Scaphoda are the Tusk shells, so called as they look similar to small elephant tusks.

Amphineura includes uncommon shell-less molluscs and the Chitons, who have eight shelly plates joined by a tough girdle.

Cephalopoda includes Nautilus, Argonauts,( A on A-Z challenge) Squid and Octopus.

Gastropods are the most interesting for me, with all sorts of different shapes and sizes.

Almost all shells are right-handed, the shell is coiled in a clockwise direction so the opening will be on the right hand side, but like myself there are some left-handed ones around. Shank shells (Turbinellum Pyrum), Indo-pacific shells found around India and Sri Lanka fetch high sums of money when a left-handed one is found. They are considered sacred and can be seen in temples. Sadly, I don’t have a left-handed one.

On the Arabian peninsula Sinistralia gallagheri, first described in 1981 is found on Masirah Island, Oman. I do have some of these…


Gastropods were and still are, used as a food source. Ancient shell middens litter the plains at Barr Al Hickmann, Oman, and in Asia it is common to see molluscs in shells for sale at fish or night markets. Asian flavouring and stir frying suits the slightly rubbery taste.

Gastropods can be found in any sea-shore habitat, burrowing in sand, hiding in rock crevices, browsing on seaweeds or exposed to the sun and waves on rocks or reefs.

Here are a few of my favourite…


10 comments on “A to Z challenge: G is for Gastropods

  1. You must have a large, well organized shell collection. One thought though; the size of the shells in your pictures isn’t always obvious, although I’d guess most are quite small. Maybe a small, common reference object or designating the length of the biggest one in a photo would help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dave for your helpful comment, point certainly noted. I forget readers have no reference point. I will try to add in a POR in future Shell posts. I have never wanted to add a ruler down the side,tending to go for the aesthetic as opposed to the practical, but maybe I should.. and yes, the shell collection is extensive. I have been following in the footsteps of Donald Bosch, author of “Seashells of Eastern Arabia” and trying to match the book collection… so far, much success plus a few not recorded in the book… A future post I suspect!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can see why you’d want to keep the aesthetic, they’re nice looking shots – not just a scientific presentation. That’s why just using the largest shell in a group might work for the POR. Just tell how big that one is in inches or cm and we can infer the rest.


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