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Snails Sea Slugs and Limpets: Gastropoda

Gastropods And People

For centuries, gastropod shells, especially cowries, have been used as money. The flesh of some gastropods, especially the muscular foot, is often considered a very tasty treat. People also use the shells of some gastropods to create works of art, as well as bowls, fishhooks, buttons, beads, and other forms of jewelry. Shell collecting has been popular for centuries, with some species commanding high prices.


Gastropods are the only animals that twist as they develop. The mantle and body of the veliger rotates 90° to 180° in relation to the foot. This rotation twists the digestive tract into a u-shape and turns part of the nervous system into an imperfect figure eight. The twisting of the body and its developing shell is referred to as torsion (TOR-shen). Torsion in gastropods is caused by the uneven pull of a single muscle inside the body.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesSnails Sea Slugs and Limpets: Gastropoda - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Gastropods And People, No Common Name (corolla Spectabilis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS