Mollusca: The Digestive Tract

The Digestive Tract

The digestive tract of the Mollusca is complex. The foregut region consists of an esophagus and a mouth cavity, which contains a toothed belt called the radula, found in almost all mollusks and peculiar to the phylum. The radula is usually used for scraping food, such as algae, from surfaces. The number and form of radula teeth are highly variable; some species have a single radula tooth while others may have several hundred thousand. In some the teeth are hollow and poison-containing and are used as weapons; other radula modifications exist. The stomachs of mollusks are generally complex, and these, too, differ with the species and according to the feeding habits of the animal.

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