Letter | Published:

Evolution and distribution of left-handed and planispiral coiling in snails

Abstract

MOST extant snails (Gastropoda) are characterised by dextral (right-handed) coiling of the shell. Sinistral (left-handed) and planispiral (bilaterally symmetrical) coiling are uncommon among gastropods, particularly in the sea1. The preponderance of one type of asymmetry over another contrasts with the approximately equal numbers of right-handed and left-handed stocks of conispirally coiled fossil nautiloid and ammonoid cephalopods2,3, and the roughly equal occurrence of inequivalve bivalves in which either the left or the right valve is larger4.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Vermeij, G. J., Bull. Mar. Sci., 23, 351–386 (1973).

  2. 2

    Flower, R. H., Evolution, 9, 244–260 (1955).

  3. 3

    Arkell, W. J., Kummel, L., and Bright, C. W., Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part L (Ammonoidea) (University of Kansas Press, Lawerence, 1957).

  4. 4

    Nicol, D., Jl Washington Acad. Sci., 48, 56–62 (1958).

  5. 5

    Knight, J. B., Smithsonian Misc. Coll., 117, (13), 1–56 (1952).

  6. 6

    Vermeij, G. J., Syst. Zool., 22, 466–477 (1973).

  7. 7

    Robertson, R., Nautilus, 87, 88 (1973).

  8. 8

    Crofts, D. R., Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 125, 711–750 (1955).

  9. 9

    Underwood, A. J., Mar. Biol., 17, 341–349 (1972).

  10. 10

    Raven, C. P., Morphogenesis: the analysis of molluscan Development, second ed., (Pergamon, Oxford, 1966).

  11. 11

    Lang, A., Lehrbuch der vergleichenden Anatomie der wirbellosen Thiere, (edit. by Hescheler, K.), (Fischer, Jena, 1900).

  12. 12

    Robertson, R., and Merril, A. S., Veliger, 6, 76–79 (1963).

  13. 13

    Harry, H. W., Malacologia, 1, 355–385 (1964).

  14. 14

    Hubendick, B., Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond., 28, 453–542 (1955).

  15. 15

    Raup, D. M., J. Pleont., 40, 1178–1190 (1966).

  16. 16

    Leigh, E. G., Adaptation and Diversity, (Freeman, Cooper, San Francisco, 1971).

  17. 17

    Vermeij, G. J., Evolution, 28, 656–664 (1974).

  18. 18

    Schaeffer, B., and Rosen, D. E., Am. Zool., 1, 187–204 (1961).

  19. 19

    Stevcic, N., Syst. Zool., 20, 331–340 (1971).

  20. 20

    Knight, J. B., Cox, L. R., Keen, A. M., Batten, R. L., Yochelson, E. L., and Robertson, R., Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part I (Mollusca) (University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 1960).

  21. 21

    Abbott, R. T., American Seashells, second ed. (Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1974).

  22. 22

    Taylor, D. W., and Sohl, N. F., Malacologia, 1, 7–32 (1962).

  23. 23

    Reigel, N. J., Nautilus, 76, 36–37 (1962).

  24. 24

    Bickel, D., Nautilus, 79, 107–108 (1966).

  25. 25

    Janssen, A. W., Basteria, 30, 8–10 (1966).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.