After the Arthropoda, Mollusca is the second largest phylum of invertebrate animals with members on land and sea. Mollusca is the largest marine phylum, with numerous creatures, such as squids, snails, scallops, and more, which make up 23% of all marine organisms. The defining features of Mollusca, include a soft body with a hand and a foot and a hard exoskeleton. Throughout history, Mollusca have been a source of food, jewelry, currency, tools, and even pets. However, Mollusca have also been pests to gardens and boats and occasionally invasive species wrecking havoc on ecosystems.

What do mollusks eat?

A mollusk’s diet may vary depending on its species. For example, mollusks that have their body between 2 shells are herbivores that eat algae. Meanwhile, squids and octopuses eat fish and other sea creatures. Mollusk snails can be either herbivores or carnivores.

How do mollusks move?

The way a mollusk moves depends if it lives on land or water. Mollusks that live on land move very slowly on a foot. Mollusks that live in the water eject water out of their body to move themselves. Some mollusks, like oysters and clams, do not move but rather attach themselves to a rock or a surface.

How do mollusks breath?

Aquatic mollusks breath by using gills, called ctenidia that are in their mantle cavity. Mollusks that live on land do not have gills and breathe through their mantle cavity that has a surface lined with blood vessels. Diffusion of air happens through the moist skin of mollusks.

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Mollusks

Giant Squid
Size comparison illustration of a Giant Squid compared to a scuba diver with overall length dimensions

The Giant squid, considered to be the largest living invertebrate, is a cephalopod that finds its habitat in temperate to subtropical marine waters. Due to it being a deep-ocean dweller, the giant squid can grow to an enormous size. It is characterized by having a head, a mantle with two large fins attached, eight arms, and two tentacles. Suckers can be found on the tentacles and are used to catch prey while its large eyes are thought to aid it in discerning the shapes of nearby predators. In pop culture, the giant squid is depicted as a menacing sea monster.

Giant Squids have a broad overall length between 33’-59’ (10-18 m) and a width of 3’-5’6” (.91-1.68 m). An average Giant Squid weighs between 440-2,000 lb (200-907 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 2-5 years.

Side elevation drawing of a Giant Squid in a swimming posture
The Giant squid, considered to be the largest living invertebrate, is a cephalopod that finds its habitat in temperate to subtropical marine waters. The giant squid can grow to an enormous size and is characterized by having a head, a mantle with two large fins, eight arms, and two tentacles.

Giant Squids have a broad overall length between 33’-59’ (10-18 m) and a width of 3’-5’6” (.91-1.68 m). An average Giant Squid weighs between 440-2,000 lb (200-907 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 2-5 years.

Side elevation drawing of a Giant Squid in a swimming posture
Giant Squid
Height:
Width:
3’-5’6” | .91-1.68 m
Length:
33’-59’ | 10-18 m
Depth:
Weight:
440-2,000 lb | 200-907 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Architeuthis
Lifespan
2-5 years

Drawings include:
Giant Squid floating elevation, swimming

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