The "Man and Mollusc" web site is all about one of the largest and most interesting phyla of animals in the world,-“the molluscs”!

Molluscs can be found in nearly every ecosystem on our earth; from high, barren mountains and grassy plains, to the depths of our rain forests, from lakes and rivers and of course, in all corners of our seas and oceans.  Look hard!  You can probably find a mollusc in your own back yard!  There are nearly 100,000 species of molluscs recognized today, with new species being discovered and named every year as man further explores the deep ocean trenches and delves ever deeper into the tropical rainforests.  In fact, nearly anyone in the field of Malacology (the study of molluscs, i.e.!) has the opportunity to name new species all the time!

You know molluscs by many names:   snails, clams, tusk shells (the "wampum" of North American natives), chitons, limpets, octopuses (or octopi), squid, and even slugs. Molluscs and their shell homes have supplied mankind with food, medicine, tools, artifacts and many other products since the dawn of time.  I hope you will agree with me that molluscs are worth a bit of your time to get to know them a little (or whole lot) better.

It is my hope that teachers (or any educator), students, conchologists / malacologists or anyone entering this site will find materials suitable to your wide variety of needs or interests either within this site or within the links provided here.

I would like to encourage you to contact me with any changes, additions, corrections or general comments in regards to the materials found within this site

Attention Please!

1.) Sammy Snail: introduces all articles and sites suitable for younger children and / or  the young at heart.  Sammy was designed by Fabio and Mary-Ann, a talented young brother and sister team from Invermere, British Columbia.  If you choose to use Sammy for your own site, Please be considerate and link back to my home page.

2.) Help!:  I would like to encourage you to submit articles, pictures, the names and URL address of other related sites, and any other tidbits of information that you feel would be beneficial in furthering the education of the public about molluscs and shell collecting. 
If you already have a link on these pages and you notice it is wrong, Please let me know.  I will attempt to keep these pages as up-to-date as possible and your input and comments will be much appreciated.
If you come across a broken link or a links page that should not be on this "a family orientated site", PLEASE let me know.

3.)  Teachers, Parents of Home Schoolers and all Educators: Some links have been specifically chosen to help you quickly pick out sites and/or articles suited for your use.  In the new Man and Mollusc Directories and the old Internet Resources Section, watch for this little character, Edu Snail,  to point out sites that you might find most beneficial for teaching.  I’ve also developed a  special links page called "Teachers! This Page is for YOU!" to assist you in locating lesson plans and other educational resources on the WWW.

4.) Everyone! Please read the following:

Parents,Students and Educators, Please read!
I have visited all the sites that I link to from my Man and Mollusc web site. These sites are also checked periodically, however, many of the sites are very extensive and I cannot guarantee that they do not lead on to other sites unsuitable for children. I have done my level best to provide only family- orientated links, but, I have no control on the site's externally linked sites. Therefore; I advise that parents, guardians and educators monitor their children when they visit any new site for the first time.
Avril Bourquin

5)  Students:  Do you need help doing your homework or do you need assistance in surfing the net in quest of information for that pesky assignment?  I have a page for you.  Visit  Students! This Page is For You! and the new Directory Page

6.)  To help you navigate through this VERY LARGE web site, I have developed a Site Map Page. Once you have a handle on what is available on this site, you may want to access this page frequently so please add it to your bookmarks.

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Man and Mollusc Articles

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Links, Facts, and Fun
  • Internet Resources:  Malacology, Conchology, and many varied but hopefully very useful internet links. (science, web-related, research-help, teacher-oriented, etc.)!
  • Man and Mollusc Directories
  • These two sections are jam-packed with wonderful and very resourceful private and commercial websites. If you see the copyright symbol ( © ) on any of these websites and/or photo images; PLEASE respect the owners wishes!

  • Amazing Molluscan Facts: the original idea, and many of the facts for this article came from the COA website (Conchologists of America article:  Just the Facts:  Things You Always Wanted to Know About Shells.  I expanded and added new data to the article and Ross edited and added some comments and notes to it as well:  It's a wild and weird world, and Molluscs certainly do their part! 
    Do you know an interesting mollusc fact or story??  If so, Please E-mail me and I will add it to this page

  • Avril's Fun Page: A page full of fun activities for younger children - colouring, mollusc-hunts, and a complete lesson plan to give teachers some suggestions on how to fit molluscs into their classes.

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Shell Collecting
  • Can You Identify These Mystery Shells? If you have a shell or a shell fossil at home and you just can't place an identification label to it, here's where you might get some help

  •  Shell Collecting Links: Collecting shells can be a fascinating, rewarding and educational hobby for anyone who is interested in nature and the wonders of the natural world. These links will provide you with everything you need to know about starting (or continuing!) a great shell collection.  New Directory Page is very much under construction, but is useable!

  • New Commercial Pages:  In a perfect shellers world; one would not have to work to support his/her hobby, yet he/she would have the money to travel the world to personally seek out each and every shell in his/her private collection.  But, if you live in the real world and like me Not On A Beach where shells can wash in at your feet,  purchasing or trading for shells is a necessity in advancing your collection.  Here are a few links pages for you:  Book DealersShell Dealers; and Auctions
    On the shell dealer's page, I have added a section for Fossils and an Art section.


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Edible Molluscan Data Base

What molluscs are edible? How many can you name? Come on in and see how many are listed on my data base as of December 2001. This list is very much under development and will truly never be complete as there are literally thousands of species of molluscs eaten world wide.

To add a bit of spice to an otherwise boring list of facts; recipes, trivia, URLs to see the species image or to learn more facts, etc., are being added. Many people have contributed species names, dates, facts and much more and for this I am most grateful. To see a list of these contributors, check out the Bibliography.

Data Base by Avril Bourquin

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For Your Information (FYI)

I have been working on an "Edible Molluscs" data base. This will never be from completed work as there are too many shells to cover.

If you have any suggestions as to other improvements we can make or you are finding some pages difficult to read; Please let me know. Somewhere on your letter or on the subject line include the words "WEB IMPROVEMENTS" and where applicable the page you are having problems with.

Thank you so very much.

Avril Bourquin

History of the Man and Mollusc Site and Acknowledgments Page: Here's the how and the why it all started and thanks given to many wonderful people who have been instrumental in developing the site and or articles.


Man and Mollusc Search Engine


This is a new counter system set up by Globel on
December 01, 2002