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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Sea snail

Sea snail \Sea" snail`\ (Zo["o]l.)

  1. A small fish of the genus Liparis, having a ventral sucker. It lives among stones and seaweeds.

  2. Any small creeping marine gastropod, as the species of Littorina, Natica, etc.

sea snail

n. Any saltwater snail; a marine gastropod mollusk.

sea snail

n. small tadpole-shaped cold-water fishes with pelvic fins forming a sucker; related to lumpfish [syn: snailfish, seasnail, Liparis liparis]

Sea snail

Sea snail is a common name for snails that normally live in saltwater, in other words marine gastropods. The taxonomic class Gastropoda also includes snails that live in other habitats, such as land snails and freshwater snails. Many species of sea snails are edible and exploited as food sources by humans.

Sea snails are marine gastropods with shells. Those marine gastropods with no shells, or only internal shells, are variously known by other common names, including sea slug, sea hare, nudibranch, etc. The diversity within sea snails is enormous. Many very different clades of gastropods are either dominated by, or consist exclusively of, sea snails. Because of this great variability, generalization about the feeding, reproduction, habitat, or other traits of sea snails is not possible. Instead, individual clades, families, genera, or species must be assessed.