Sea snail

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A species of sea snail in its natural habitat: two individuals of the wentletrap Epidendrium billeeanum with a mass of egg capsules in situ on their food source, a red cup coral.

Sea snail is a

snails primarily by the absence of a visible shell


Determining whether some gastropods should be called sea snails is not always easy. Some species that live in

land snails


Sea snails are a very large and diverse group of animals. Most snails that live in


Many, but not all, sea snails have an operculum.


The shells of most species of sea snails are spirally coiled. Some, though, have conical shells, and these are often referred to by the common name of

; this family is sometimes called the "bivalved gastropods".

Their shells are found in a variety of shapes and sizes, but are normally very small. Those living species of sea snails range in size from

fossil record


mollusks you can predict the size the mollusk shell can reach.[1]


The shell of Syrinx aruanus can be up to 91 cm long.
A 50-second video of snails (most likely
Natica chemnitzi and Cerithium stercusmuscaram) feeding on the sea floor in the Gulf of California, Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
Acanthina punctulata has been disturbed, and has retracted into the shell, using its claws to bar the entrance in the same way the snail used its operculum

2005 taxonomy

The following

(some of the highlighted taxa consist entirely of marine species, but some of them also contain freshwater or land species.)


By humans

A number of species of sea snails are harvested in

Littorina littorea

The shells of sea snails are often found washed up on beaches. Because many are attractive and durable, they have been used to make necklaces and other jewelry since prehistoric times.

The shells of a few species of large sea snails within the

mother of pearl. Historically, the button
industry relied on these species for a number of years.

By non-human animals

The shells of sea snails are used for protection by many kinds of hermit crabs. A hermit crab carries the shell by grasping the central columella of the shell using claspers on the tip of its abdomen.

See also