Architectonica maxima (giant sundial snail) 1
Architectonica maxima (Philippi, 1849) - giant sundial snail (apical view) (public display, Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA)
The gastropods (snails & slugs) are a group of molluscs that occupy marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments. Most gastropods have a calcareous external shell (the snails). Some lack a shell completely, or have reduced internal shells (the slugs & sea slugs & pteropods). Most members of the Gastropoda are marine. Most marine snails are herbivores (algae grazers) or predators/carnivores.
The giant sundial snail shown above is part of the Indo-West Pacific Province: "The world's largest and richest province extends from the Red Sea and East Africa across the Indian Ocean, then touches northern Australia and southern Japan to extend eastward throughout the "South Seas" to Hawaii and Easter Island. Probably 5,000 marine species are found in its shallow coral waters." [info. from museum signage]
Classification: Animalia, Mollusca, Gastropoda, Architectonicidae
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