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Gastropod: Snails
Christopher Thomason
University of Phoenix

A 19th century English Preacher named Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once said, “By perseverance, the snail reached the ark.” That is true with the gastropoda species, Latin for stomach foot. Gastropods have persevered throughout time, becoming one of the oldest surviving species with over 600 named species, over 200 hundred from fossil records stretching back to the late Cambrian period, which was centered in the Paleozoic Era, almost 500 million years ago. With all gastropods being unique and mostly fascinating, this paper will focus mainly on snails, briefly touching on what gastropods are and centering on why snails are evolutionary marvels and why a snails shell makes it a curious species.
What makes gastropods what they are are their unique body compositions and their classification as an invertebrate. Gastropods are commonly described as a slimy, squishy “bugs” accompanied with or without a shell. This is mostly true minus the bug part because gastropods are members of the Mollusca (mollusk) genus, which are classified as non-vertebrate animals. Other members of the mollusk family are squids, clams, mussels, and octopods. There are over 50,000 known species of gastropods, 35,000 or so of which make up a portion of land-dwelling gastropods like snails and slugs.
Snails in particular have evolved into marvelous organisms, creatures which still fascinate modern studies because of their unique structures and adaptability. Gastropods, snails in this instance, have three main body sections to consider in their evolutionary distinctiveness: their head, this is where their brain and sense organs are located, the visceral mass which contains their organs protected within the shell, and their foot which is the muscular and “slimy” part of the body mentioned previously. This uniqueness has given the…...

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