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Date: April 4, 2014

Subject: BIOLOGY 11
IRP: Miller Levine Biology 4
Edition, Unit 7: Life on Earth Invertebrate Animals, p.552-675
G1 Analyze how the increasing complexity of animal phyla represents an evolutionary continuum.
G4 Analyze the increasing complexity of the Phylum Molluska, Phylum Echinodermata and
Arthropoda Phylum. Unit 7
Lesson Topic: Mollusks
Lesson Number: 5
Lesson Time: 75 mins

Student Background Knowledge:

Unit 7: This is the 5
lesson of Invertebrates Chp 7. Students will have been exposed to phylum
cnidaria, Porifera, free-living flatworms and parasitic flatworms and roundworm biology.

Rationale: Students will understand the characteristics of phylum Molluska.

Purpose: To understand the characteristics of phylum Molluska.

Prescribed Learning Outcomes:

G1 Analyze how the increasing complexity of animal phyla represents an evolutionary continuum.
G3 Analyze the increasing complexity of the Phylum Molluska.


G4: Examine members of the Phylum Molluska and describe their unifying characteristics
G4: Describe how mollusks carry out their life functions

Alternative Methods/Strategies to provide optimal challenge for all students:

Provide a lesson plan to learning assistance department.
Key concepts and important information provided for EA
One-on-one assistance from the teacher throughout the lesson to assist students with questions or the
Check for understanding prior to activity work
Challenge Students: Provide examples and ask for class understanding throughout lesson
Have discussion on topic by asking questions throughout presentation and note taking

Student Handout overhead notes
Textbook pg 584-589

Student participation
Student handout filled in
Quiz on Platyhelminthes and nematodes


Activity/Time Description/Organization Key Points of
Review lesson

Time: 20 mins

Quiz on worms. Have students self-mark.

Last class we discussed the characteristics of roundworms. Today we will
examine the phylum Molluska.

Body of Lesson:

Activity/Time Description/Organization Key Points of
Time: 30 mins

Mollusks: soft-bodied animals that have an internal or external shell.

Latin: molluskus: Soft.

They evolved in the sea over 600 million yrs ago and have experienced
successful adaptation.

There are over 100,000 mollusk species: divided into 7 classes

Range in size and environment: from freshwater snails to deep sea giant
squid approx. 20 meters long

Mollusks are classified together because

1. They share similar developmental patterns.

Have a unique larvae called a trochophore.
These swim in the water and feed on tiny floating plants

Trochophore larvae are also seen in segmented worms (phylum Annelida) =
common ancestor approx. 580 million yrs ago

By moving their cilia rapidly, a water eddy is created to help control the
direction of their movement.

Also this way they bring their food closer, in order to capture it more easily

2. Their various body plans are based on variations of the same basic body
plan (internal or external shell)

A few present day mollusks lack shells but they are all thought to have
evolved from shelled ancestors

Form and Function:

Body Plan: 4 basic parts:

1. Foot: muscular and soft
Usually contains mouth and structures associated with feeding
Takes many different shapes in mollusks:
Flat surfaces adapted to crawling
Spade shaped structures for burrowing
Tentacles for capturing prey

2. Mantle: thin delicate tissue layer that covers most of a mollusks body

3. Shell: made by glands in the mantle that secrete calcium carbonate

4. Visceral mass: contains internal organs

The type of foot and kind of shell that mollusks have are used to group them
into classes.


Gills: organs used for both filter feeding and respiration.

Aquatic snails, clams and octopi breathe by using gills located inside their
mantle cavities.

Land snails and slugs breathe using an adapted mantle cavity that is lined
with many blood vessels.

Mantle is wrinkled and folded to fit a larger surface within the limited space
of the cavity surface is kept moist so oxygen can enter the cells.

This is why they must live in moist environments as the mantle loses water to
dry air why they prefer to move around at night or during rainstorms


Mollusks have many types of feeding mechanisms and feed on many
different kinds of food

Most mollusks are herbivores, carnivores or filter feeders, but a few are
detritus feeders and parasites.

Snails and slugs for example: feed with a tongue-shaped structure called a
radula: a layer of flexible skin that has hundreds of tiny teeth which make it
look like sandpaper. Inside the radula is a stiff supporting rod of cartilage.

When feeding: puts the tip of the radula on the food and pulls the
sandpapery skin back and forth over the cartilage.

Mollusks that are herbivores used the radula to scrape algae off rocks or eat
the buds, roots, flowers off land plants.

Mollusks that are carnivores use their radula to drill through the shells of
other animals. Once they have made a hole in the shell they extend their
mouth and radula into the shell and tear up and swallow the preys tissue.

A carnivorous snail called a cone shell has had its radula evolve into long
hollow darts that are attached to poisonous glands uses it to stab and
poison prey like small fish

Carnivorous mollusks like octopi and some sea slugs use sharp jaws to eat
their prey. Some octopi use poison to subdue prey. Poisons can be strong
enough to hurt or kill humans.

Mollusks such as clams, oysters, and scallops are filter feeders have gills to
sift food form the water.
As they pass water over their gills phytoplankton in the water become
trapped in a layer of sticky mucus.
Cilia on the gills move the mixture of mucus and food into the mouth.

Internal Transport:

Oxygen that is taken in by the respiratory system and nutrients from
digestion are carried to all parts of the body

Blood is pumped by a simple heart through what is called an open circulatory

open = blood does not always travel inside the blood vessels

Blood can work its way through body tissues in open spaces: sinuses

Sinuses lead to vessels that pass first through the gills oxygen and carbon
dioxide are exchanged back to heart

Open circulatory systems are useful for slow-moving or sessile mollusks:
snails and clams

octopi or squids: are fast-moving
the open system is not efficient enough for them
They have a closed circulatory system (blood always moves insides blood


Undigested food becomes solid waste that leaves through the anus as feces

Cellular metabolism produces nitrogen-containing waste = ammonia

Ammonia is poisonous must be removed from body fluids done
through nephridia

Nephridia: remove ammonia from the blood and release it to the outside

Nervous System:

Mollusks vary greatly in their response to the environment

Clams and other two-shelled mollusks lead simple lives burrowing in the sand
simple nervous systems
Have several small ganglia near the mouth
Few nerve cords
Simple sense organs (chemical, touch receptors)
Statocysts organs for balance
Ocelli eyespots

Octopi and other tentacled mollusks are active and intelligent predators:
have the most highly developed nervous systems of all members of the

They can remember and may be more intelligent than some vertebrates

Octopi can be trained to perform different tasks to obtain reward or avoid

An example of convergent evolution: human hippocampi and octopus vertical
lobes of its brain.


In most mollusks the sexes are separate and fertilization is external

These include: snails, all two-shelled mollusks release their eggs and
sperm into open water in vast quantities

Egg + sperm find each other by chance free swimming larvae develop
from fertilized eggs

Tentacled mollusks and certain snails internal fertilization (inside body of

Fertilization is also internal in some hermaphrodites: some snails pair
together and fertilize each others eggs at the same time.

Oysters switch from one sex to the other (sometimes they produce sperm
and are male, sometimes they produce eggs and are female).

ACTIVITY: Work on card game based on all the new information learned


Activity/Time Description/Organization Key Points of
Time: 5 mins
Closure: Hand out Mollusk game design worksheet. Introduce the activity and
that the students will play the games when the projects are completed.
Homework: Work on Life of a Mollusk game activity
Give homework

Student Handout The Life of a Mollusk
What would the Game of Life look like for a member of the Phylum Molluska?
Mollusks are invertebrates that live in a wide variety of habitats, including saltwater,
freshwater, and terrestrial habitats. This diverse group includes a variety of animals that at
first glance seem unrelated. These include gastropods (slugs, snails, and nudibranchs),
bivalves (such as clams and oysters), and cephalopods (nautilus, octopus, and squid).

Gastropod Bivalve Cephalopod
Most mollusks share the uniting characteristics of having a mantle, a visceral mass, and a
foot. Outside of these characteristics, however, these animals have an amazing variety of
OBJECTIVE: Working in your table group of 3-4 people, and using classroom resources,
you will create either a card game or board game that explores the life of a mollusk. Your
game will include the life functions of your mollusk and some challenges it might encounter
over the course of its life.
PROCEDURE: First, with your table group, decide which mollusk will be the star of your
game. Let your instructor know which mollusk you choose (we will try to have a variety
amongst the groups), and youre ready to start making your game!
Things to think about when creating your game:
What kind of game will you be making? (Card game or board game)
How will the game work? (Rolling dice, choosing cards, spinner, etc.)
What is the end goal for the mollusk in your game? (Reproduction? Escape from a
predator? World domination?)
What kinds of setbacks and advantages could your mollusk encounter?
How will you incorporate the life functions of the mollusk into your game?
Include the life functions of your mollusk (choose at least 5 of: body plan, feeding,
respiration, internal transport, excretion, reproduction, nervous system and
Be for 2-4 players and should be able to be played in about 20-30 minutes.
Include clear instructions on how to play.

Be creative! As long as your mollusks life functions are addressed, anything goes for this

EVALUATION: Your game will be handed in and marked using the following rubric to give
a group mark. (The rubric will help you make sure your game meets the criteria!)
Total /32
Category 8 6 4 2
Life Functions <5 life functions 5 life functions 3-4 life >3 life functions
clearly and
clearly and
clearly and
clearly and
The game is fun
to play and
makes me want
to learn more
about mollusks!
The game is fun,
and I guess
mollusks are
I wouldnt play
it with someone
who wasnt
already a board
game or
mollusk fan.
The game
makes me hate
games. And
Player Number
Criteria Met &
Game for 2-4
players, and the
were so clear I
could teach a
two-year-old to
Game for 2-4
players, and I
only had to read
the instructions
once to mostly
Game for 2-4
players Wait,
what am I
supposed to do
Solitaire. With
no instructions.
Creativity &
Oh man, I have
never seen a
game like this in
my life! And it
looks amazing!
Ive seen a
similar game
before, but the
design and
artwork are
I suppose I can
play this game
again. Thanks
for making the
board, at least.
So I see youve
used regular
playing cards
instructions on
scrap paper
In addition to a group mark, you will be asked to complete a self-evaluation and peer-
evaluations for your group members, based on how well you worked as a group. This
rubric will look like this, with a space for you and each member of your group:
Name Mark you would
give (out of 5)
based on
cooperation with
the group and
effort by the
Justify how you decided upon this mark for the

Octopods have been the focus of some quite fascinating cognitive research, and have shown their
ability to possess both short and long term memory, navigate complex mazes, recognize
color/pattern sequences and, controversially, even use tools and learn by observation. Claims of
observational learning in baby cuttlefish were made from a marine biology laboratory in France. In
this experiment, baby cuttlefish that were still developing in their translucent eggs were exposed to
tanks including different kinds of prey. Generally, the only thing you can get baby cuttlefish to eat in
captivity is small shrimp. However, clutches of these eggs were hatched in unique environments;
one with shrimp as usual, one with crabs and a control with no prey items in the tank at all during the
time of development within the egg.

The mollusc radula
The radula is found in most molluscs. It is best seen when aquatic snails graze the algae of
aquarium walls.
It is a moveable ribbon or strap on which there are backwardly pointing chitinous teeth, usually
arranged in rows (see left and right). There can be as many as 250 000 teeth.
The backwards and forwards movement of the radula rasps at the surface, breaking off food
particles. As the teeth wear the ribbon is moved forwards, so there is a constant replacement of
The action of the radula is as follows -
The mouth opens
The supporting cartilage moves forwards bringing the radula in contact with the surface
The teeth scrape the surface
Food particles move up into the mouth as it closes
Cartilage and radula are withdrawn (see diagrams left and right).
This action is repeated rhythmically. The pattern and number of teeth in a row can be used in
identification as they are different in each species.

Octopus Brain:

Are there any important differences between the individual neurons of vertebrates and
The answer is yes. Humans have more complex, multi-polar neurons; whereas most invertebrates
have simpler unipolar neurons. The unipolar neurons of octopods lack an attribute seen in the cells
of vertebrate animals called a myelin sheath. The myelin sheath acts an insulator of the electro-
chemical impulses between nerves, which allow for faster transfer of information. Being that
cephalopods have very quick reaction times and no myelin sheath, how is this possible? Some have
solved this problem by evolving with very large axons, the size of which allow for direct, fast
transmission of electrochemical impulses. Some cephalopod axons are so large, they can be seen
without a microscope. Additionally, because invertebrates have bodies covered in peripheral ganglia,
information is able to be sent back to the central brain in a way that is very different, but equally
effective, to the neuro-communicative approach taken by vertebrates.
Interestingly, neuroscientists have also found functional similarities between the vertebrate
hippocampus, associated with learning and memory, and the vertical lobes of the octopus brain. If
an octopus has its vertical lobe damaged, it can no longer learn new mazes, problems or behaviors.
It may be able to fumble through mazes it had learned in the past, but it will not be able to learn new
ones. This is somewhat similar to what would be expected of a human who suffered an injury to their
hippocampus. These similarities are examples of convergent evolution, octopods and humans
havent shared a common ancestor in over 500 million years; therefore, if there are similarities to the
way we perceive and process information, we dont have these homologous characteristics as a
result of common ancestry rather these features arose independently of one another in humans
and octopods because thats just how intelligence/complexity work.