(Seashell Morphology)
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(Jenneria pustulata)
Jenneria pustulata - pattern, color, sculpture...what more do you need?!
"This species can be confused with no other living species on earth." -A. Myra Keen

Mollusc shells come in a truly amazing variety of shapes, sculptures, patterns and colors. Jenneria pustulata (above) is one of my all-time favorites...it's exceptional on all accounts...but there are so many other species that are stunningly beautiful! This page and the examples page give a brief overview of shell features and patterns, so many of which have been given names, that one will run across in reading species descriptions. Just remember that this is a mere drop in the bucket of the 100,000 species out there, each with its own special combination of features.

The two photos below show most of the general morphological features of gastropod and bivalve shells. Most gastropods and bivalves will display these general features, but given the huge number of species in the world, there is huge variation and many specialized species, some of which scarcely resemble these photos at all.

Below the photos are links to the quiz pages and to the examples page. Study the two photos and their labels and then go to the quizzes and see how well you can do! The quiz pages also contain definitions of all these labeled parts, while the examples page shows images of the variation that can be found.

Gastropod Shell Morphological Features

(gastropod shell morphology)

Bivalve Shell Morphological Features

(bivalve shell morphology)

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(All images are the property of Peter Egerton and may not be copied.)
© Copyright 2002 Peter Egerton