Aplacophorans are small, cylindrical, worm-like, and usually less than 5 cm long, but can range from 1 mm to 30 cm. Like other mollusks, it has no outer shell, but the epidermis secretes calcareous spicules or scales which are embedded in dorsal mantle. These spicules give the aplacophorans a sheen. Chaetoderms have a scaly appearance. All aplacophorans have a simple mantle cavity.
The radula is not ribbon-like as in other mollusks, but is an expansion of the foregut epithelium. The teeth of the radula may be in simple plates in transverse rows, up to 50 rows with 24 teeth per row.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
- Ponder, W., M. Shea, D. Beechey, R. McBain. 2000. "Aplacophora (the spicule worms)" (On-line). Shelled Marine Mollusks of Temperate Australia. Accessed February 07, 2005 at http://www.danceweb.com.au/marine/data/majgrps.htm#apla.
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