AS = Anglo-Saxon
Fr = French
Gr = Greek
L = Latin
Aberrant ab-er’rant (L ab=from; erro=wonder) deviating from the usual type of its group; abnormal; wandering; straying; different
adapt: to develop and change in order to survive in a particular habitat
Adductor ad-duc’tor (L ad=to; ducere=to lead) A muscle which draws a structure towards the medial line. The major muscles (usually two in number) of the bivalves, which are used to close the shell.Aesthete aes’thete ((Gr aesthetes = one who perceives) the sensory organs terminating in the tegmentum of some chitons
Anterior an-te’ri-or (L ante=before) situated in front, in lower animals relatively nearer the head
Aperture ap’er-ture (L apertures=an opening) the opening in a gastropod shell; an open passage, orifice, hole.
Apex a’pex (L apex=the tip, summit) the highest point of anything. Tip, vertex, peak, the tip of the spire of a gastropod and generally consists of the embryonic shell.
Aquatic a-quat’ic (L aqua=water) pertaining to living in, growing in or adapted to the water
Articulated ar-tic’u-lated (L articulatus=jointed) the union forming a joint as the interlocking teeth of the hinge plate in bivalves
Asymmetrical as-ym-met’ri-cal (Gr a=priv.; syn=with; metron=measure) not even on both sides of an axis, bilaterally uneven, lack of symmetry
Beak (L beccus=a beak) the rounded or pointed extremity (umbo) of a bivalve shell at which it began to grow. (oldest part of the valve)
Biodiversity: the entire variety of life on earth
Bivalve bi-valve (L bi=two; valva=door) any mollusc having two valves or shells that are hinged together, as in mussels and clams.
Branchiae (Gr Branchia=gills) gills; respiratory organs for breathing the oxygen dissolved in water.
Branchial (GR branchia=gills) The ventral or inhalent aperture. Used to take in food particles and oxygen and to release fertilized eggs.
Buccal buc’cal (L bucca=the cheek) pertaining to the mouth or cheek
Buccal mass a bulging; tongue-like object, made up of cartilage and muscle, which supports the radula
Byssal a small opening or notch on the ventral margin for the passage of the byssus
Byssus bys’sus (Gr Byssos=a fine flax) The fine fibers, or bundle of silky threads secreted by a gland found in the foot of some bivalves by which they attach themselves permanently to rocks or other solid objects.
Calcareous cal-ca’re-ous (L calyx=lime) composed of, containing, or by the nature of limestone or calcium carbonate; a shelly substance. Cephalic ceph-al’ic (Gr Kephale=head) of, pertaining to, on, in, or near the head
Cephalopoda Ceph-a-lop’o-da (Gr Kaphale=head; pous=foot) One of the seven classes of molluscs. (Squids, octopus, Argonaut, Spirula.)
Ceras cer’as (Gr Keras=horn) a horn or horn like appendage located on nudibranchs
Chambered cham’bered (Gr Kamara=anything with an arched cover) having divisions across the hollow of the shell, separating or dividing the same into chambers. (as in the Nautilus)
Chiton chi’ton (Gr Chiton=tunic) the coat-of-mail shells (Polyplacophora) . They possess a shell made up of eight shell plates.
Cilium (plural Cilia) (L cilium=eyelid) A hair-like extension from the cell surface and capable of rhythmic movement. Used to designate the filaments on the mantle, in the gills, etc.
Coelom coe’lom (Gr Koilos=a hollow) body cavity, that space between the viscera and the body wall.
Columella col-u-mel’la (L columen=column) The thickened axial pillar around which the whorls of univalves are built.
Conch (Lconcha=shell) a trumpet shell; a large marine molluscs with a univalve shell
Conchiolin con-chi’ol-in (L concha=shell) organic compound forming the thin outer layer of Molluscan shells.
Conchology con-chol’o-gy (L concha=shell) The branch of zoology that embraces the arrangement and description of molluscs based upon a study of the hard parts. Conchologist: a student of conchology; a collector of shells.
Crop (AS cropp=craw) a widened part of the esophagus where food may be temporarily stored before being passed on to the stomach
Ctenidium cten-id’I-um (Gr Kteis=comb) a gill-comb. One of the respiratory organs found in molluscs. Plural is ctenidia
Deforestation: the disappearance of all the trees from a particular area
Detorsion de-tor’sion (L de=away; torques=twist) the act of twisting back or removing torsion; unwinding
Detritus de-tri’tus (L detritus=a rubbing away) a mass of disintegrated material composed of bits of sea weed and other organic wastes found on the ocean floor
Deviate de’vi-ate (L de=from; via=away) To turn aside from the straight or regular coarse.
Dextral dex’tral (L dexter=to the right) Having the aperture on the right side of the shell when the apex is upwards and the aperture is facing you. The whorls spiral in a clock-wise manner.
Dioecious di-oe’cious (Gr Di=two; oikos=house) having the male and female present in different individuals. ( an individual is either male or female but never both). Opposed to monoecious
Distal dis’tal (L di=apart; sto=stand) relatively remote from the center of the body or point of attachment. Away from the center of origin, the farthest part from an object.
Dorsal dor’sal (L dorsum=the back) referring to the back edge or top of a bivalve, in the region of the hinge. The back of a gastropod remote from the aperture; The conical top surface of a limpet
Ectoparasite ec-to-par’a-site l A parasite living on the outside of another organism (think of a flea living on a dog)
Endangered: in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future
Environment: all the living and nonliving things that surround and affect an animal or plant
Esophagus e-soph’a-gus (Gr Oisophagos= the gullet) A membranous tube or canal through which masticated food or drink passes from the pharynx to the stomach
Estivate es’ti-vate (L aestivare=to spend the summer) to pass the summer in a state of topor; the dormancy in the summer of some lank snails.
Exhalent ex-ha’lant (L ex=out; halo=breathe) having the quality of exhaling or evaporating. Exhalent siphon a short outlet formed of a fold of mantle through which water and other wastes are expelled.
Exotic species: foreign species that have been introduced into a new habitat
Extinct: no longer existing or living
Extinction: the complete disappearance of an animal or plant species
Feces fe-ces (L faex=dregs) the alimentary refuse ejected from the anus
Foot The muscular locomotory, undersurface of the body of a mollusc upon which the animal rests or moves. In bivalves, the contraction and expansion of this organ is used in the burrowing, locomotion, or for anchoring the animal. In the cephalopods, it is represented by the siphon and possibly the tentacles.
Gastropoda gas’trop’o-da (Gr Gaster-stomach; pous=foot) A class of molluscs. Scientific term for the univalves with the stomach situated in the region of the foot, shell is in one piece and usually spirally coiled and is asymmetrical.
Gill (ME gile=a gill) or Ctenidium. A large sheet-like organ used for breathing the air dissolved in the water. In bivalves they also play the role of food collecting. The respiratory organ of molluscs.
Girdle gir’dle (AS gyrdel=a girdle) A flexible, leathery, muscular integument holding the valves of chitons in place. It is often ornamented with scales, spicules, or hairy processes.
Gizzard giz’zard (L gigeria=cooked entrails of poultry) A thickened muscular stomach designed for the crushing of food. A peculiar stomach paved with calcareous plates and strong enough to crush small shellfish.
Gonad gon’ad (Gr Gonos=seed) A generative tissue which eventually becomes a testis or ovary. Gonoduct, an oviduct or seminal duct.
Habitat: the environment in which a particular animal or plant species lives
Haemolymph he’mo-lymph (Gr haima=blood) Molluscan blood
Hermaphrodite her-maph’ro-dite (Gr Myth=Hermaphrodites, having a fabled son of Hermes and Aphrodite) Having the sexes united in the same individual The animal is both male and female.Holotype hol’o-type (Gr Holos=whole = type) The original type. The single specimen upon which a species is based
Inhalent in-ha-lant (L in=in; halo=breath) to breathe in Inhalent siphon, a tube like fold of the mantle along which water, containing oxygen and food particles is drawn into the mantle cavity.
Labial Palps la’bi-al palps (L. labium=lip palpare=to feel) Paired ciliated triangular flaps on either side of the mouth in bivalves.
Lamellar gills la-mel’lar gills (L. lamella=small plate)Enlarged, flattened plate-like gills (ctenidia) which form the feeding organs of most bivalves.
Lateral lat’er-al (L latus=the side0 pertaining to the side. Lateral teeth; interlocking teeth of bivalves, not functioning as a hinge but serving to prevent valves from sliding upon each other when closed.
Left valve Left valve of the shell where the dorsal edge or hinge is facing up and the anterior end is directed forward (away).
Malacology mal-a-col’ogy (Gr malos=soft-bodied logia=to speak) The study of molluscs (clams and snail) based on soft anatomy. The branch of zoology that deals with molluscs, the animal within the shell.
Mantle man’tle (L mantellum=a cloak, mantle) A soft, fleshy sheet of tissue that surrounds the molluscs’s body and lines the inner surface of the shell. It secretes the materials that form the shell from the marginal glands and provides the periostracum.
Migrate: to go from one region to another with the change in seasons
Nacre na’cre (Fr nacre=mothe-of-pearl) The pearly or iridescent substance which lines the interior of some molluscs shells.Neotype ne’o-type (Gr Neos=new, recent + type) A type of a species collected later, or selected to replace the original (holotype) if lost or destroyed.
Nephridium ne-phrid’I-um (Gr nephros= a kidney) one of the tubular renal organs of the molluscs. Nephridiopore; the duct through which liquid wastes drain from the nephridium.
Operculum o-per’cu-lum (L operire=to close or shut) A horny or shelly plate attached dorsally to the foot serving to close the aperture, wholly or partially, when the animal is retracted into its shell. A chitinous or calcareous plate present in many molluscs.
Operculate; having an operculum
Osphradium os-phr’di-um (Gr Osphraddion=strong scent) An olfactory organ of some molluscs. A collection of elongated sensory cells over each gill.
Overexploitation: wasteful killing of a species, usually by hunting or poaching
Palps (plural palpi) (L palpare=to feel) Ciliated structures that surround the mouth. Food is sorted here and moved towards the mouth.
Pelagic pe-lag’ic (Gr Pelagos=the open sea) Pertaining to or living in the open sea far from land.
Pelecypoda pel-e-cyp’oda (Gr Pelekys=axe; pous=foot) Bivalves. Molluscs bearing a two valved shell that is hinged along one edge.
Periostracum per-I-os’tra-cum (Gr peri=around; ostracukon=shell) The outside skin or horny covering on the exterior of many shells.
Poaching: illegally taking protected animals or plants
Pollution: the dirtying or spoiling of air, land, or water
Population: the number members of a species living in a particular area
Prey: to hunt for and take by force
Propodium pro-po’di-um (Gr Pro=before; pous=foot) The foremost division of the foot of a gastropod used to push aside sediment as the animal crawls.
Protoconch pro’to-conch (Gr Proto=first; konche=shell) The embryonic shell of a univalve. It is frequently different in design, texture or colour of the adult shell. The rudimentary or embryonic shell of a bivalve is called a Prodissoconch.
Radula rad’u-la (Lrado=to scrape or scratch) A rasp-like organ, odontophore or lingual ribbon of armed with tooth-like processes, found in nearly all molluscs except the bivalves. This tough chitinous ribbon of teeth obtains food particles by a rasping or licking action.
Rain forest: a thick evergreen forest with at least 100 inches (254 cm) of rainfall a year; may be tropical (e.g., Amazon) or temperate (e.g., Pacific Northwest)
Range: the geographical area naturally occupied by an animal or plant species
Regenerate: to replace lost or damaged parts by growth
Reintroduction: to place members of a species in their original habitat
Right Valve Right half of the shell when the dorsal edge or hing is facing up the the anterior end is directed forward (away).
Scaphopoda sca-phop’o-da (Gr Scaphe=boat; podos=foot) Tusk or tooth shells this class of molluscs possess an one-piece tapering, curved shell open at both ends and an elongated foot adapted for burrowing.
Shell (AS scell=shell) A hard rigid, calcareous or chitinous structure encasing an animal, or covering some part of it. Some molluscs have an internal shell.
Sinistral sin’is-tral (L sinister=left) Having the whorls of a spiral shell turning towards the left when a shell is held with its apex pointed up and its aperture facing the viewer. This is a counter-clockwise whorl.
Sinus si’nus (L sinus=a curve) A depression, bend, embayment; a recess or indentation as in the pallial line of a bivalve.
Siphon si’phon (Gr Siphon=siphon) A prolongation or fold of the mantle conveying water into or out of the mantle cavity of most molluscs. Siphonal Canal, siphonal notch A tube-like extension or notch-like infolding of the lip of the aperture in a gastropod shell through which the inhalent siphon is extended.
Siphuncle si’phun-cle (L siphunculus=a little tube) The small tube connecting the chambers in a nautilus shell.
Slit (AS slite=slit0 A shallow or relatively long incision in the outer margin of the aperture of a gastropod.
Spicule spic’ule (L spiculum=a dart) A small, slender, hard body, sharp-pointed, often needle-like as the spiculous fringe found on the girdle of chitons.
Species: a group of animals or plants that have one or more characteristics in common
Symmetrical sym-met’ric-al (Gr syn=with; metron=measure) Equal-sided, well balanced, having similar parts arranged in regular reverse order on both sides.Syntype syn’type (Gr Syn=together; typos=strike) one of several specimens of equal rank upon which a species is based.
Terrestrial ter-res’tri-al (L terra=the earth) living in and existing on the earth. Having its habitat on the ground as in land snails as opposed to aquatic (water dwelling) or arboreal (living in trees).
Type species (L typus=strike) The species used by the author of a genus to characterize that particular genus.
Umbilicus um-bil’I-cus (L umbilicus=naval Gr corde=string)A pit or chink in the shell next to or within the base of the Columella, occurring in gastropods in which the largest whorls are not closely wound against each other axially.
Umbo um-bo (L umbo=a knob or boss) That point of a bivalve situated immediately above the hinge. The first part formed in a bivalve around which “radial” growth has proceeded..
Valve (L valva=a leaf of a door) One of the separate portions of a shell of a mollusc. Univalve; one a single piece shell Bivalve; a two-pieced shell. Multivalve: more than two shell plates as in the chitons.
Veliger vel’I-ger (L veliger=snail-bearing) a larval mollusc in the stage of development where it has developed ciliated swimming menbrane or membranes.
Ventral ven’tral (L venter=the belly) The edge remote from the hinge in a bivalve; the ventral margin is opposite the umbonnes. Opposed to dorsal.
Wildlife: wild animals and plants, especially animals living in a natural state
Whorl (AS hweorfa=the whorl of a spindle) A revolution or turn of the spire of a univalve shell. One complete spiral turn. The largest whorl is the body whorl or the last whorl.