Significance to humans

The significance of vetigastropods to humans includes the use of their shells by inhabitants of the northern Pacific islands, southern Africa, and Australia and New Zealand to

Shells of the species Haliotis tuberculata lamellosa are commonly seen in the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo by S. Piraino [University of Leece]. Reproduced by permission.)

make fishhooks, buttons and beads (especially nacreous groups), or bowls (large abalone species). The most common use of vetigastropods was and continues to be as food—for subsistence as well as haute cuisine (e.g., abalone steaks).

1. Lepetodrilus elevatus; 2. Red abalone (Haliotis rufescens); 3. Top shell (Trochus niloticus). (Illustration by Emily Damstra)

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