The group mollusca contains over 100 000 species of animal! Mollusks live in the ocean, in rivers, lakes, and ponds. They also live on land but they like cool, wet environments on land! Think about where you have seen slugs or snails living in Canada – does this seem correct?

Different kids of Mollusks

Snails! Snails have large shells on their backs. If they are in danger they can pull back into their shell!

Squid! Fast predators that live only in the ocean. Squid are very smart and the giant squid in the largest invertebrate on Earth – growing to over 12 meters! They have 8 arms and longer tentacles.

Octopus! Octopus are very similar to squid, but they have 8 arms and no tentacles. They are very smart with great eyesight but are deaf! Their blood is light blue in colour.

Clams! Clams are animals that are completely protected by their large strong shells. Yes they can move!

Characteristics of Mollusks

  • The word, “mollusk” means soft, and mollusks are just that. They don’t have skeletons or exoskeletons (no bones!), but are squishy or soft!
  • All have (or had) shells. Octopus and squid have evolved and adapted to a different life, so their shells are almost gone. Do you remember finding the pen during your squid dissection?

More Information and Cool facts!

  • The giant squid can have eyes the size of a basketball!
  • Squid are the fastest invertebrates, moving up to 37 km/hr!
  • Slugs are just like snails, but without a large outside shell!
  • Cuttlefish (Mr. Pletsch’s favorite invertebrate) are like octopus/squid but have a larger shell. They also have the most amazing camouflage and even dream when they sleep!
  • Octopus/Squid/Cuttlefish are some of the smartest animals in the world!

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