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What are mollusks' habitats?

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Quick Answer

Mollusks reside in many habitats around the world: most live in marine environments such as oceans and bays, while others reside in freshwater areas and even on land. Mollusks inhabit virtually every type of ecosystem on Earth and live in many places around the world. Some thrive in deep ocean waters, while others prefer shallow areas and make their homes near shorelines.

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Full Answer

The global population of mollusks includes over 50,000 distinct species. According to the University of California, many mollusk species may inhabit the same area. In any given place, over 50 distinct species might share the same habitat.

Most mollusks live in marine habitats, including gastropods and bivalves. Gastropods live in tidal areas or in deeper sea waters, often residing in large communities that sometimes number in the thousands. Marine mollusks live in various places within marine ecosystems. They live on sandy and rocky beaches, as well as mud flats and coral reefs. Some mollusks attach to surrounding structures for support, while others burrow into the sand or soil. While some mollusks live on dark ocean floors, others live near underwater thermal vents. Species frequenting these areas include gastropods and bivalves.

Regardless of where they live, mollusks classify as heterotrophs, feeding on organic ocean debris and small particles. Some even consume smaller crustaceans and other mollusks.

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