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The value of mollusks in nature and for humans

Mollusks are a type of primary invertebrate animals. They live on land, in the seas and oceans, some species have mastered brackish ponds. Ground mollusks are found in gardens and kitchen gardens – slugs, snails.

Deepwater mussels, octopus, squid and others. Given the large number of species, conditions and habitat, the practical importance of mollusks in the outside world and for human life is great.

Given the large number of mollusk species, the practical importance of mollusks for human life is large

Animals of the class of mollusks or soft-bodied are diverse not only in their habitat, but also in their anatomical structure, size, and behavior. They are divided into classes:

Gastropods – the most numerous class. It has about 80% of species. Occur in a variety of climatic zones, at great depths and in the coastal zones of the seas.

They do not live in continuous glaciation and on flatland deserts. Gastropods crawl along the bottom, sometimes digging for life, and individuals that have lost their conch swim – they are (a piedleg and a kenogie detachment). They feed on vegetation and organic residues.

The seas are inhabited by cones, mureks, rapana, in freshwaters – lawns, prudoviki, coils.

Gastropods crawl along the bottom, sometimes digging for life, and individuals who have lost their shell swim.

Terrestrial species can easily tolerate sudden changes in temperature and adverse weather conditions, burrowing into the soil. The snail retracts into the shell and clogs the mouth with a film consisting of frozen mucus with lime particles.

Slugs hide in the ground or gnaw cavities in mushrooms and plants.

About 19% are the smallest, slow-moving, exclusively aquatic animals of the bivalve class. The body of mollusks is enclosed in a shell of two valves. Some individuals are stationary for a long time.

They lie on the seabed, burrow into the ground or attach to algae and rocks, eventually firmly growing to them shell flap. Famous mollusks of this class include scallops, oysters, mussels.

In freshwaters, globular, toothless, perlovitsy are common.

Most cephalopods are predatory sea animals that swim freely in the bottom layer.

Representatives of the cephalopod class can reach enormous sizes. Most individuals are predatory sea animals that swim freely in the bottom layer.

Nowadays living mollusks of this species account for about 1% – octopus, nautilus, squid, cuttlefish. The length of the body with elongated tentacles can range from a few centimeters to 19 m.

They feed on small mollusks, crabs, fish and other animals. In representatives of the class, the external shell is absent, except for females of octopus-argonauts and nautiluses. Powerful tentacles are located around the mouth, with the help of which animals move, capture food, explore the environment.

Some individuals are poisonous. Can change body color.

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The amazing inhabitants of the underwater depths have always attracted the unusual forms and lifestyle of those who like to explore the secrets of the oceans. As a result, various microorganisms were given names, divided into groups and defined their role in the ecosystem and for human life.

The most mysterious and useful are mollusks.

Soft-bodied animals are able to survive in salt and fresh water, at low and high temperatures, adapt to different environments and any soil. This happens because the whole microfauna of the aquatic space depends on them.

The role of bivalve mollusks in nature is in the purification of water bodies. They are natural filter feeders, feeding on strained organic matter, which is located in the water column (mineral particles, bacteria and excrement of living organisms, algae).

One oyster per hour filters about 10 liters of water, the mussel is about 4 liters, the sea sponge passes about 30% of the biomass through itself.

The role of bivalve mollusks in nature is to purify water bodies.

Shellfish serve as food for many animals:

  • land toads, frogs, moles, hedgehogs;
  • bream, black carp, crucian carrot in them in freshwater bodies;
  • aquatic eat fish, starfish;
  • walrus and octopuses consume bottom fish;
  • freshwater – nutritious food for waterfowl and desman;
  • bivalves attached to any surface become prey of gastropod mollusks (rapana);
  • most species are used as pet food;
  • sperm whales, sharks, seals, penguins, albatrosses attack cephalopods.

Sedimentary rocks form from accumulations and fragments of shells of invertebrate animals, and some types of bottom sediments are formed. Deep-water pteropod sludge and shell rock (shell limestone) are widespread from sedimentary rocks.

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Man learned to use the gifts of the sea for a long time. In industry, they are used not only for whole shells and their fragments.

Of considerable value are biogenic formations inside the shells – pearls, nacre, purple, fine linen.

Mussels are kept on rocks and relief algae with the help of black dense threads – byssus. They are produced by a special gland, which is located on the leg of the mollusk. With a certain treatment of the threads, a durable and lightweight material is obtained – “fine linen”.

Today, fabric is produced in small quantities in the south of Italy especially for tourists.

Shellfish are known as producers of natural pearls and nacre. Pearls are used in jewelry, and mother-of-pearl creates unique crafts and interior items.

Female ornaments and buttons are made of scallops.

Female ornaments and buttons are made from the shells of some mollusks.

The contents of the ink bag squid and cuttlefish used for the production of natural Chinese ink and brown paint – sepia. Sperm whales are a source of aromatic substance – amber, which is formed in the digestive organs of the animal.

The waxy substance is used in the perfume industry to impart durability to perfume.

The fragments of shells are crushed on a drum crusher to a certain size and used as feed at industrial poultry farms. Shellfish is used in construction, to create sculptures.

Some types of mollusks are used in alternative medicine for the treatment of various diseases. Cucumaria is the main raw material for the preparation of medicines in the fight against HIV.

On the basis of trepang make bioactive drug mixtures, tinctures and extracts.

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Ever since ancient times, delicacies of maritime origin have been considered wholesome and rich food. Meat of invertebrate marine animals has a balanced composition, a low percentage of carbohydrates and fats, less polluted by toxins than terrestrial types of products.

The value of mollusks for humans:

  1. Seafood dishes contain large amounts of calcium, phosphorus, selenium, iodine, copper, iron, as well as easily digestible protein and minerals.
  2. The source of zinc and cobalamin (vitamin B12), which is important for the human body, is oysters.
  3. The leader in iodine content is scallop.

Meat of invertebrate marine animals has a balanced composition, a low percentage of carbohydrates and fats.

  • Trepang has a spicy taste. It is the food qualities of this mollusk that stands out from a number of other species. Mollusk tissue contains more than 200 nutrients.
  • The main part of valuable substances (taurine, water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins) are found in the blood of the mollusk. It is used in the food industry in the manufacture of products such as “Hematogen”, in medicine on the basis of blood receive medicinal extracts.
  • Of the 210 varieties of squid, only such squid are edible: Argentinean, Pacific and Peruvian. Representative desyaruchih animals class cephalopods used in the diet. Its main advantage is the usefulness of the product, due to the high content of nutrients compared to other meat products.
  • In European countries, there are farms for breeding snails for subsequent use in cooking.
  • All 9 essential amino acids are found in cuttlefish meat.
  • Cuttlefish meat will include all essential amino acids.

    Seafood is ideal for culinary experiments. Soups, sushi, salads are cooked on the basis of meat of sea inhabitants. They use mollusks in various states and with various products:

    • raw
    • sweet
    • dried;
    • stewed;
    • smoked;
    • baked in dough;
    • grilled;
    • with vegetables and fruits;
    • with various sauces and spices;
    • canned and pickled;
    • breaded until golden brown;
    • stuffed or cooked in coconut milk (octopus tentacles).

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    Of course, the role of mollusks in nature and for man is invaluable. But besides the positive moments, invertebrates bring harm.

    Significantly reduces the number of mussels and oysters predatory mollusk – rapana. The shipworm (mob) spoils the bottoms of ships, violates the integrity of the wooden parts of the port facilities, cutting through the passages.

    The bivalve mollusk of Dreisen, attaching itself to the underwater parts of the ships, makes them heavier and hampers the course. Ships periodically put in the docks and cleaned from the resulting fouling.

    Snails harm cultivated plants. Slugs are the transmitter of dangerous helminthiasis for pets, and also destroy flower, grain, vegetable and technical crops.

    Slugs are not indifferent to citrus and grape plantations.

    Significantly reduces the number of mussels and oysters predatory mollusk – rapana

    Some mollusks settle in water pipes, plugging them. Large prudoviki destroy vegetation and small animals in reservoirs.

    Voracious mollusks eat algae, meat, protozoa, fish spawn, dead snails and fish. Snails parasitize on starfish and hedgehogs.

    The danger from the use of seafood is the possible side effects and the presence of mercury compounds inside the shells. Ecological problems affect the water space, triggering cross-infection from vegetation to predatory fish.

    To protect yourself and prevent the use of substandard seafood, you need to buy shellfish from proven suppliers, who closely monitor the timing and quality of the goods.

    Underwater depths are a big and interesting world. It will always attract unusual colors and mysterious animals, and regardless of the distance to play an important role in nature and human life.

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