Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Struthiolariidae

Family: Struthiolariidae (Ostrich Foot Shells)

In the Strombacea superfamily, the Struthiolaridae family stands out uniquely from its carnivorous relatives in the Aporrhaidae and Strombidae families. Rather than actively tearing flesh, as do molluscs of the latter two families, the ostrich foot mollusc depends on filter feeding, using its gill in much the same way as bivalves; i.e.,  food particles are trapped on mucous strings which are then collected into the stomach (see, for example, Pecten gill). In the case of Struthiolaria,  the radula forms a series of tiny grappling hooks as a further aid in hauling the mucous strings into the mouth. The stomach also has evolved along lines somewhat similar to that of bivalves (Morton, 1960).
Ostrich Foot molluscs are almost wholly restricted to New Zealand and parts of Australia. They live in clean water no deeper than about 20 m. and burrow, leaving two openings in the sand above, through which they evidently filter feed.
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Stromboidea
Family: Struthiolariidae

Major Genera
  • Genus: Perisodonta
  • Genus: Struthiolaria

Struthiolaria papulosa (Martin, 1784)
Large Ostrich Foot

Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Ostrich Foot Shells