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Published on Jan 8, 2012
From the Latin molluscus ( "soft"), a mollusk is a metazoan with soft tegumentates, which may appear bare or covered by a shell. It shows bilateral symmetry and, as an adult, a non-segmented body. Mollusks are invertebrate celled prototypes and form one of the broadest phyla of the animal kingdom. These are the most numerous invertebrates behind arthropods, including species such as octopuses, slugs, squids, mussels and clams. In total, scientists estimate that there are about 100,000 living species. Thanks to their physiological characteristics, molluscs can live in a variety of environments. In this way, individuals of this group can be found to more than 3,000 meters on the level of the sea and also in ocean depths of more than 5,000 meters.