Class Scaphopoda

Scaphopods are generally rare as fossils. The Scaphopoda, or elephant-tusk shells, have a single, slightly curved high conical shell, open at both ends (Fig. 13.25a). They lack gills and eyes, but have a mouth equipped with a radula and surrounded by tentacles; they also possess a foot, similar to that of the bivalves, adapted for burrowing. Scaphopods are mainly carnivorous, feeding on small organisms such as foraminiferans and spending much of their life in quasi-infaunal positions within soft sediment in deeper-water environments. The first scaphopods appeared during the Devonian and apparently had similar lifestyles to living forms such as Dentalium.

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