Underside and mouth of a Ramshorn snail. Photo by Amanda Goodman.

    Freshwater Pulmonates are mainly herbivorous, meaning they rely on plants for nutrition. Many opt for dead vegetation as opposed to living plant life, however. Some pond snails tend to prefer detritus and mud found on the bottom of their aquatic environment.  One favorite tasty treat of these organisms is Green Algae

     One of the main features associated with nutrient acquisition in snails is the  radula. The radula is found within the buccal cavity, where the walls of the buccal mass move it in a circular motion. The radula itself is supported by muscle and cartilage. This "toothed tongue" is mSnail radula. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.ade of chitin and is composed of many tiny tooth-like structures.
  The actual structure of  the  radula depends on the  diet  of the organism.  Shape correlates with  function. The  radula of a  carnivorous  gastropod is  narrow and  possess a few  teeth with  many long, pointed cusps. The radula of herbivores on  the other hand is broad and has many small teeth.

Check out this microscopic view of a snail radula!!

Microscopic view of a snail radula. Photo courtesy of Rick Gillis.

 Visit the adaptation page to learn a
little about the circulatory system!