Metabolic Biochemistry and Molecular Biomechanics by Peter W. Hochachka

By Peter W. Hochachka

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1. Structural Organization, Adaptive Radiation, and Classification of Molluscs 25 The early molluscan stomach was probably quite a complex sorting area. Food strings entering the stomach were wound onto a rotating protostyle. This was housed in a special sac arising from the anterior part of the intestine and turned by cilia. Protostyles occur in Neopilina and in many primitive gastropods as well as the early bivalves. Chitons and limpets have lost this early mechanism whereas in noncarnivorous mesogastropods and the higher bivalves the protostyle has been superceded by the more complex crystalline style.

The land pulmonates have had a far more spectacular evolution and lead a much fuller terrestrial existence 1. Structural Organization, Adaptive Radiation, and Classification of Molluscs 43 than the operculate land snails (prosobranchs). Although they are probably the most successful land invertebrates after the arthropods, slugs are unusual in that they have little obvious structural protection against desiccation. However, they are mainly nocturnal animals and are tolerant of extreme water loss.

However, as in the prosobranchs (and pulmonates), the more primitive forms are microphagous browsers. The cephalaspid Actaeon, for instance, has a broad radula, a style sac, and a sorting area. Most opisthobranchs and pulmonates, however, soon abandoned ciliary and mucus feeding and evolved muscular guts. The majority of cephalaspids have an esophageal gizzard with crushing plates whereas the stomach is comparatively simple. , Scaphander, Philine) have evolved strong curved radula teeth for seizing prey, which is then crushed in the gizzard.

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