Class: Scaphopoda

Collection Highlights | Updated 7 years ago

An unusual, horn-like shelled animal
Fissidentalium formosum
Photo by Clay Bryce, image copyright WA Museum

All scaphopods (common name “tusk shells”) are marine mollucs. Most possess a white, slightly-curved, tapering, tusk-like shell that is open at both ends. Inside the larger end is the cone-shaped muscular foot with which the scaphopod burrows into the sand sifting for food - hence its name which means: "spade-footed".

Inside the shell is a tubular body which water flows through and then exits through the narrow end that protrudes above the sand surface. Scaphopods feed on minute animals that live in the sand.

Mollusc (Malacology) Section