A group of garden snails hibernating together

Snails and slugs

Snails, slugs and their relatives are the most common form of mollusc, with over 60,000 species alive today. Most species possess a shell, and the shells of many gastropods have very beautiful patterns and shapes. Sea-living snails and slugs typically start life as a tiny larva floating in the plankton, and only later metamorphose into a crawling creature. On land and in freshwater, however, miniature versions of the adults usually hatch from eggs.

Scientific name: Gastropoda

Rank: Class

Common names:

Gastropod molluscs

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Molluscs
  4. Snails and slugs

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