Gastropods are the largest and most diverse class of molluscs. They can be found in almost all habitats (including deserts) but mostly in saltwater or fresh-water environments. It is the only class of mollusc has representatives on dry land.
They have a head, a muscular foot and a shell (which can be reduced or oven absent in the more evolved gastropods). Their shell is often helicoidal and it usually opens to the right (dextrogurate). Many species have an operculum that acts as a cover, to close the shell and avoid desiccation. In general this is made of a horny material but in some spieces it is calcareous. The gastropods include such popular species as snails, sea and land slugs, limpets, abalones and sea hares.
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