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Gastropod is the scientific name of snail, and they belong to the phylum of molluscs (Mollusca). Gastropods appear in the fossil record from the middle Cambrian period, and have seen a significant increase in diversity in the upper Cretaceous and Paleogene periods.
They live both on land and in the sea. Gastropods that live in the sea are predators that sometimes drill holes in other shells to eat them. Gastropods build their shells usually with Aragonite. This is rapidly soluble in groundwater, and the scale does often not fossililize. The filling of the inside of the shell is then becomes an internal mold. Fossils of gastropods are very common.
Example of a gastropod with the original shell preserved
Example of a gastropod with the preserved internal mold. The original shell is gone.
Photos or locations of Gastropoda at this site
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