Mollusca is a taxonomic phylum that contains a diverse array of organisms (referred to as 'mollusks'), and the taxonomic classes that include snails, sea slugs, octopi, squid, and bivalves such as clams, mussels and oysters. From 50,000 to 200,000 species are estimated to belong to this phylum. Imagine the obvious differences between an octopus and a clam, and you'll get an idea of the diversity of this phylum!
Characteristics common to all mollusks is that they have a soft body, and usually distinguishable 'head' and 'foot' regions. Some may have a hard covering, or exoskeleton. The mollusk uses its muscular foot to move.
Mollusks also have a heart that pumps blood through blood vessels, digestive system, and a nervous system.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca