As mentioned earlier, the habitat of Neohelix major is in the southeastern states. This location has influenced the diversification and adaptation of the shell in the species (Emberton, 1995). As discovered in a study done by Kenneth Emberton, environmental correlations account for 34 percent of size and shape variations of Neohelix major (Emberton, 1995). For example, larger, flatter, and more loosely coiled shells are more common in areas that have a higher altitude and less shelter (Emberton, 1995). Taller shells have been adapted to moist environments because the taller shells allow Neohelix major to forge through the ground more easily (Emberton, 1994).

           As for other morphologies, like all Gastropoda, members of the species Neohelix major possess a foot that is used for movement as well as a mouth, hence the name “mouth foot” (Gillis, 2012). For obtaining nutrients, gastropods possess a radula, that allows them to, in herbivores, scrape off algae or other plants, and in carnivores tear off the flesh of their prey. Neohelix major also have a trademark 180 degree twisting of the visceral mass called torsion (Gillis, 2012). Gastropods also undergo the process of coiling in the visceral mass and shell (Gillis, 2012). This coiling allows for the organism to be able to gain surface area without sacrificing locomotion capabilities (Gillis, 2012).

            As with all of the Pulmonates, Neohelix major breathes air on land by the use of a functional lung (Gillis, 2012). Air passes through a small opening on the outside of the body. Gastropods utilize an open circulatory system meaning the blood is not confined to the heart or heart vessels but moves through the irregular tissue and sinuses (Gillis, 2012).      

            Mollusks are highly cephalized, meaning that their nervous systems are well developed and possess a head (Hickman, 2012). Most mollusks have highly evolved senses of smell, touch, taste and even vision with eyes on top of their tentacles (Hickman, 2012). Continue on to learn more about the species Neohelix major regarding nutrition.

Typical anatomy of snails in the Phylum Mollusca




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