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Everybody knows at least one gastropod - the common garden snail.

Recent gastropod Besides garden snails, other gastropods include slugs, sea slugs and marine snails like limpets and periwinkles.

Gastropods live in many different environments, on land, in the sea, and in fresh water pools or streams. They use their broad flat foot for crawling, swimming or burrowing.

Many gastropods are protected in a cap-shaped or coiled shell. It is these shells that are often found as fossils. The oldest gastropod fossils are over 500 million years old.

Fossil gastropod Fossil gastropod Fossil gastropod
Fossil gastropods come in all shapes and sizes.

The mollusc wheel Find out about fossil molluscs Find out about fossil gastropods Find out about fossil bivalves Find out about fossil cephalopods Find out about ammonites Find out about fossil nautiloids Find out about belemnites
The molluscs are split into different groups - the gastropods, bivalves and cephalopods. The cephalopods are also split into three groups.


If you read these pages you should become an expert invertebrate identifier!
The major groups are listed below - select a link to learn more about this type of fossil.

Sponges Corals
Molluscs Brachiopods
Arthropods Graptolites
Echinoderms Return to the wheel

If you know it all already, return to the Homepage or test yourself with our Quiz!