Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Order: Stylommatophora

Family: Polygyridae

Genus: Mesodon

Species: Mesodon elevatus (Say, 1821)

Domain: Eukarya (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Eukarya is one of the three domains of cellular life.  What separates them from the rest is the complexity of each organism listed under Eukarya and different structures they all have developed into (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012).
Kingdom: Animalia (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Animalia is represented by over 1.5 million different species. All the organisms in this kingdom are multicellular, yet they are not to be confused with other multicellular groups like plants and fungi.  What makes Animalia different from the others is the fact that they are heterotrophic and can reproduce sexually or asexually (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012).
Phylum: Mollusca (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Mollusca have a variety of different species.  They contain the second most species among the Phyla, estimating to have almost 100,000 different species, only behind arthropods.  As for their location, mollusks can be found in virtually all regions around the globe, in all different environments. What makes mollusks unique from any other phyla is a variety of distinguishable characteristics. The first one is each organism has a hard external shell made up of calcium carbonate, with some exception of organisms like the slugs or squids (Burach, 1962). Next is having a gland inside the mantle, these different glands are meant to shape the shell structures and act like a “house” for the lungs and heart. Finally, the last notable characteristic is having an adapted foot used for movement or capturing prey. As for nutrition, mollusks feed on what ever they come contact with, this includes things like fish and plants to even paper (Burach, 1962).
Class: Gastropoda (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Gastropods are the largest group within Mollusca phylum. This class includes over 40,000 species of the snail and can also be located in all different locations.  Just like mollusks, gastropods range from fresh and marine waters to terrestrials.  As for the shell type of gastropods, there are two main shells they usually have. The first type is a single shell that has a spiral coil, whereas the second type has such a reduced shell, it seems that they don’t even exist (Burach, 1962). Each organism within this class has developed something called torsion. This happens in the early stages when the visceral mass (digestive trap) is twisted around by 180 degrees inside the body cavity making it so that the anus appears to be right next to the mouth on the posterior half of the organism.  Most gastropods are herbivores, getting their nutrition by scraping different types of algae or fungi using the radula (Gillis, 2011).
Order: Stylommatophora (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Stylommatophora (or Geophila) are known for having two large tentacles that contain the eyes near the tips. What makes these tentacles even more unique is that they are both are able to retract back into the shell or near the body when they come across a threat or for defense (Burach, 1962)
Family: Polygyridae (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Polygyridae can be easily distinguishable by the lip it has on the shell.   If the snail is mature, this lip becomes very visible, yet if the snail is at a younger years and is immature, the lips may not be developed yet, making it hard to tell if the snail is in the family Polygyridae or not. As for the habitat of these organisms, they array from very cold climates like Alaska to the tropics of the south (Burach, 1962).  Just like gastropods, Polygyridae get their nutrition using radula to scarp off parts of young plants (Auffenberg et al. 1989).
Genus: Mesodon (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Mesodons all continue to have the lip on each shell. Each one has a somewhere between five and seven whorls on the pale shell they have. As for location, they can be found from low wet lands to dry bluffs. Each species within this genus has been able to find a way to adapt to there own environment (Dourson, 2010).  

Species: Mesodon elevatus (Say, 1821) (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012)
    Mesodon elevatus are located in selected types of environments including Limestone Rivers, caves and mixed forests.  They can be notable for having 6-7 whorls in each shell.  As for the color, at an immature age, Mesodon elevatus lean towards having a clear green color; however, when they mature and grow older, their shell color becomes a pale yellow (Dourson, 2010).


Go Home                 Next: Habitat