Man and Mollusc Articles

General Interest Man and Mollusc Articles


Do you know an interesting mollusc fact or story??† If so,
Please let me know it and I will add it to this page

Molluscan Science

  • Advanced Introduction to the Molluscs:† by Avril, with just a bit of editing by Ross Mayhew:  This is good stuff, for Secondary-school (i.e., high-school) students (and anybody else!) who really want to "dig deeper"!!.

    A Beginner's Guide to the Molluscs:† by Avril Bourquin: An introductory guide to molluscs, briefly describing and telling you about the 7 major divisions ("classes") of these fascinating animals.†  Sammy Snail tells you all about:† Andrew APLACOPHORA ,† Paul POLYPLACOPHORA,† Mary MONOPLACOPHORA,† Seymour SCAPHOPODA , Gerry GASTROPODA, Billy BIVALVE & Charles CEPHALOPODA

  • Taxonomy of the Phylum Mollusca (How Scientists Classify Mollusks):† by Winston Barney, with minor editing by Ross Mayhew (Ross said:† ďblame me for any errors or bad jokes!Ē): Learn how scientists classify the many different kinds of molluscs! This article also contains a good history and explanation of the classification of all living things, as applied to the phylum mollusca.
  • Naming a New Mollusk Species By Tom Eichorst: How does one go about naming a new species of mollusc, and can anyone do this?† It's NOT quite as simple as you may think!
  • Otopuses are Smart Suckers! By Jennifer Mathers and Roland Anderson:  A well-written and entertaining look at the remarkable intelligence and antics of the Einsteinís of the mollusc world.† The Cephalopods are the Rocket Scientists of the invertebrate world, - you may be shocked at how smart they are!! 
  • Cone Wars!:† by Don Barclay:† Life and death in the aquarium!† An experiment designed to expose interactions between cones (Conidae) and their prey ends up providing a lot of humour and solid scientific observati

  • Freshwater Mussels of BC: Identifying Freshwater Mussels in BC by the BC Conservation Data Centre


What molluscs are edible? How many can you name? Come on in and see how many are listed on my data base as of December 2001. This list is very much under development and will truly never be complete as there are literally thousands of species of molluscs eaten world wide.

To add a bit of spice to an otherwise boring list of facts; recipes, trivia, URLs to see the species image or to learn more facts, etc., are being added. Many people have contributed species names, dates, facts and much more and for this I am most grateful. To see a list of these contributors, check out the Bibliography.

Data Base by Avril Bourquin

Malacology Zone Articles
Articles dealing with deeper scientific subjects


David Lubell
(A brief biography)

A prehistoric archaeologist, I taught for many years at the University of Alberta and am now attached to the University of Waterloo ( I have worked since the 1960s on the relationship between past human populations and the environment, especially with regard to the transition from hunting-gathering to food production in the circum-Mediterranean. From 1972-83 I directed a project in Algeria on "Prehistoric Cultural Ecology of Capsian Escargotières" in which we tried to understand why people who lived there between about 10,000 and 6,000 years ago, seem to have depended so heavily on land snails for food. The two papers included here are part of that project.

Dr David Lubell
Department of Anthropology
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Dr. David Lubell has kindly allowed me (Man and Molusc - Avril Bourquin) to link up to two fabulous articles he has written;

1. David Lubell (2004) Prehistoric edible land snails in the circum-Mediterranean: the archaeological evidence. In, J.-P. Brugal and J. Desse (eds.), Petits Animaux et Sociétés Humaines: du Complément Alimentaire aux Ressources Utilitaires, XXIVe Rencontres Internationales d'Archéologie et d'Histoire d'Antibes. Éditions APDCA, Antibes, pp. 77-98.

Abstract - Edible land snails are often abundant in late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeologicalsites (c. 10000 to c. 6000 BP) throughout the Mediterranean region. This chapter, the firstattempt to summarize the evidence, argues that in almost every instance the land snails found in occupational deposits are the remains of prehistoric meals.


Secondary pdf file source:

2. David Lubell (2004) Are land snails a signature for the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition?
In, M. Budja (ed.), The Neolithization of Eurasia - paradigms, models and concepts involved, Neolithic Studies 11, Documenta Praehistorica XXXI: 1-24.

Abstract - Edible land snails, representing food remains, are frequently very abundant in late Pleistocene and early-middle Holocene archaeological sites throughout the circum-Mediterranean region. As such, they appear to represent a signature for a broad spectrum subsistence base as first conceived by Flannery in 1969, and therefore must be in some way related to the transition from foraging to food production. This paper investigates the implications that can be drawn from the presence of these snails through information on their ecology, biology, behaviour and nutritional value as well as the behaviour of the prehistoric human groups who collected and consumed them.

Secondary pdf file source:



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