Feeding ecology and diet

The majority of caenogastropods are carnivores, although herbivory has evolved in several groups, including the Lit-torinidae, Columbellidae, and Cypraeidae; many of these taxa also are capable of feeding on detritus as well as encrusting organisms such as tunicates, sponges, and bryozoans. Other caenogastropods have evolved filter-feeding behavior, such as the Clyptraeidae, and some occur as either endo- or ectoparasites in and on echinoderms (Endoconidae). Several large groups are scavengers (Nassariidae), feeding on dead fishes, crustaceans, and other organisms that come to rest on the bottom. Some neogastropods such as cone shells (Conidae) have poison glands and harpoon-like radular teeth that are used to actively hunt worms, other mollusks, and fishes. Off the bottom and up in the water column, members of the Janthinidae are drifting, pelagic carnivores feeding on jellyfishes, whereas the pelagic Heteropoda are active swimmers in search of other mollusks (including small cephalopods), crustaceans, and fishes.

Because of the diversity and abundance of caenogastropods in such a broad range of habitats, predators of caenogas-tropods include most marine, estuarine, freshwater, and terrestrial carnivores. These include fishes, crustaceans, sea stars, other mollusks, birds, and mammals.

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