Molluscs comprise the second largest phylum of animals (after arthropods), occurring in virtually all habitats. Some are commercially important, a few are pests and some carry diseases, while many non-marine molluscs are threatened by human impacts which have resulted in more extinctions than all tetrapod vertebrates combined. This book and its companion volume provide the first comprehensive account of the Mollusca in decades. Illustrated with hundreds of colour figures, it reviews molluscan biology, genomics, anatomy, physiology, fossil history, phylogeny and classification. This volume includes general chapters drawn from extensive and diverse literature on the anatomy and physiology of their structure, movement, reproduction, feeding, digestion, excretion, respiration, nervous system and sense organs. Other chapters review the natural history (including ecology) of molluscs, their interactions with humans, and assess research on the group.
Key features of both volumes:
- up to date treatment with an extensive bibliography;
- thoroughly examines the current understanding of molluscan anatomy, physiology and development;
- reviews fossil history and phylogenetics;
- overviews ecology and economic values; and
- summarises research activity and suggests future directions for investigation.
Winston F Ponder was a Principal Research Scientist at The Australian Museum in Sydney where he is currently a Research Fellow. He has published extensively over the last 55 years on the systematics, evolution, biology and conservation of marine and freshwater molluscs, as well as supervised post graduate students and run university courses.
David R. Lindberg is former Chair of the Department of Integrative Biology, Director of the Museum of Paleontology, and Chair of the Berkeley Natural History Museums, all at the University of California. He has conducted research on the evolutionary history of marine organisms and their habitats on the rocky shores of the Pacific Rim for more than 40 years.
The numerous elegant and interpretive illustrations were produced by Juliet Ponder.
About the Authors
Chapter 1 - Introducing Molluscs
Chapter 2 - Overview of Molluscan Physiology and Genomics
Chapter 3 - Shell, Body, and Muscles
Chapter 4 - The Mantle Cavity and Respiration
Chapter 5 - Feeding and Digestion
Chapter 6 - Circulatory and Excretory Systems
Chapter 7 - Nervous System, Sense Organs, Learning and Behaviour
Chapter 8 - Reproduction and Development
Chapter 9 - Natural History and Ecology
Chapter 10 - Molluscs and Humans
Chapter 11 - Research on Molluscs – Some Historical, Present, and Future Directions
"… an immensely useful "go-to resource" … on almost any mollusk-related topic. … this is a brilliant work that should be on the desk of any serious "student" of mollusks, at any career level." - American Malacological Bulletin, 38 (1) 2020.
"The two-volume set is a treasure trove for anyone lucky enough to be teaching malacology, a reference work for investigators in a multitude of fields, and a true companion for students and advanced researchers. It will stand for decades, joining immediately the list of classic volumes covering the Mollusca. A tour d’force that speaks to the knowledge, dedication, and talent of the authors, illustrator, and also the publisher that had the vision to make such an epic possible in today’s publishing world." - Sandra E. Shumway in National Shellfisheries Association Quarterly Newsletter 2020 (2).
"The scholarship and deep thought that the authors bring to this monumental work are beyond staggering... It is unlikely that the scientific achievement manifested in the publication of this work will be surpassed in the foreseeable future. Whichever field of molluscan study a student or seasoned researcher is contemplating, this publication is the resource to consult first for an authoritative synthesis. Anyone with an interest in living and extinct molluscs will want to own and consult this landmark set of volumes." - Geerat J. Vermeij in The Quarterly Review of Biology
"In case the rest of my review is not emphatic enough, Biology and Evolution of the Mollusca (hereafter BEM) is the most wonderful molluscan work I have ever seen. It is an intellectual tour de force, truly astounding in its breadth and depth of subject coverage; the sampling of the literature is comprehensive and up to date; and the figures are works of art while simultaneously being – like the text – exceptionally clear and informative. The authors – writers Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg, together with illustrator Juliet M. Ponder – reviewers and publisher are all to be congratulated on such an outstanding result. … [BEM] will be the standard reference work about the Mollusca for years to come. It undoubtedly will, but I changed my mind; it can do better! Instead, I would like to think that BEM will stimulate such a flowering of molluscan research that it will soon be seen as a more foundational document." - Hamish G. Spencer in Molluscan Research