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Helcionelloida is an extinct group of ancient molluscs (phylum Mollusca). These are the oldest known conchiferan molluscs, that is, they had a mineralised shell. Some members of this class were mistaken for Monoplacophorans. The class was erected by Peel in 1991.[1]

Temporal range: Early Cambrian–Early Ordovician
Latouchella costata.JPG
Latouchella costata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca (?)
Class: Helcionelloida
Peel, 1991

and see text

This page deals only with the taxonomy of Helcionelloida. Details of their biology and anatomy are covered at Helcionelliformes.



These animals were untorted and they had a coiled, cone-shaped shell. The majority of species were small (shells being about two millimeters in length and or diameter). Modern reconstructions depict them as resembling snails. The shells of some genera, particularly Yochelcionella, also possessed a "snorkel"-like opening which was most likely used for breathing.

2005 taxonomyEdit

The taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005[2] categorizes members of this taxon within the Paleozoic molluscs of uncertain systematic position, but that taxonomy to not use the name Helcionelloida.

2006-2007 taxonomyEdit

Taxonomy of helcionelloid according to the opinion of P. Yu. Parkhaev:[3][4]

Gastropoda Cuvier, 1797

Subclass Archaeobranchia Parkhaev, 2001

Subclass Divasibranchia Minichev & Starobogatov, 1975

Subclass Dextrobranchia Minichev & Starobogatov, 1975


  1. ^ Peel, J. S. (1991). "Functional Morphology of the Class Helcionelloida Nov., and the Early Evolution of the Mollusca". In Simonetta, A. M.; Conway Morris, S. The Early Evolution of Metazoa and the Significance of Problematic Taxa. Cambridge University Press. pp. 157–177. ISBN 978-0-521-40242-2. 
  2. ^ Bouchet P. & Rocroi J.-P. (Ed.); Frýda J., Hausdorf B., Ponder W., Valdes A. & Warén A. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology, 47(1-2). ConchBooks: Hackenheim, Germany. ISBN 3-925919-72-4. ISSN 0076-2997. 397 pp.
  3. ^ P. Yu. Parkhaev (2006) "Adaptive radiation of the Cambrian helcionelloid mollusks (Gastropoda, Archaeobranchia)." In: S.V. Rozhnov (ed.) "Evolution of the biosphere and biodiversity. Towards the 70th anniversary of A. Y. Rozanov". 2006. Moscow, pp. 282-296.
  4. ^ P. Yu. Parkhaev (2007). "The Cambrian 'basement' of gastropod evolution". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 286: 415–421. doi:10.1144/SP286.31. 

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