Moon snails are distinctive components of sand/mud substrata, noticeable not just because of their large size, but also because of their distinctively shaped egg collars. 

NOTE  it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out why these globular shells are called “moon” snails.  They are common inhabitants of intertidal and subtidal sandy areas.  They are harvested as food in some areas, but are reportedly not particularly tasty, which probably explains why they are still relatively common

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ANIMATION of snail meeting MOON SNAIL
© 2010 Thomas Carefoot

To learn about west-coast MOON SNAILS & RELATIVES: select a topic from the moon-snail menu at the top of the page

OR: play the ANIMATION of the snail meeting the MOON SNAIL

OR, if you want to see other animations: follow the snail on its ODYSSEY by CLICKING on any X-marked invertebrate on the map

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Phylum Mollusca (lit. “soft” or “shellfish” L.)

Class Gastropoda (lit. “stomach foot” G.), referring to the body structure of viscera lying overtop of the muscular foot

SubClass Orthogastropoda (lit. “straight gastropod” G.), referring not to the shape of the shell but to their evolutionary history

SuperOrder Caenogastropoda (lit. “new or recent  gastropod” G.)

Order Hypsogastropoda (lit. “high gastropod” G.)

SubOrder Littorinimorpha (lit. “seashore form” G.)

Family Naticidea (lit. “buttocks” L.), including moon snails Euspira (Polinices) lewisii

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