GEOLOGY | FOSSILS | key fossil groups
Gastropods (formally, Gastropoda) make up a large group (class) of molluscs. They have a muscular foot, eyes, tentacles and a special rasp-like feeding organ called the radula, which is composed of many tiny teeth. Most gastropods have a coiled or conical shell, which may be extremely reduced in some species or lost entirely as in slugs.
Gastropods evolved early in the Cambrian, but since the Palaeogene they have become the most common molluscs, inhabiting both aquatic and terrestrial environments.
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