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Pleurotomarioidea is a superfamily of small to large marine gastropods included in the Vetigastropoda.[2]

Temporal range: Cambrian–Recent[1]
Entemnotrochus rumphii.jpg
A shell of Entemnotrochus rumphii
Scientific classification

Swainson, 1840

See text

These are the slit shells, originally named Pleurotomariacea, in keeping with the convention for naming superfamilies at the time. This updated version of the name for the taxon is usually used by students of the living Mollusca. Paleontologists often still use the name Pleurotomariacea instead.

Evolutionary historyEdit

Forming the first evidence of crown-group gastropods when they appeared in the Upper Cambrian, the fossil record of the Pleurotomarioideans has no substantial gaps until today. The group took quite a hit at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (K–T boundary), with only the Pleurotomariidae surviving the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event – and then only in deep waters.[3]

Living representatives of the group were first discovered in the mid-19th century, and their unusual mix of primitive and derived characters perplexed biologists. The researchers originally responded by re-working their ideas of how the gastropod lineage evolved, but with the introduction of cladistics, attempts are currently underway to fit them into a molluscan phylogeny.[3]


2004 taxonomyEdit

J. D. Stilwell et al. 2004[4] put the Pleurotomarioidea in the order Archaeogastropoda which is included in the Prosobranchia.

1993 and 2005 taxonomyEdit

The following families have been recognized in taxonomy by Tracey at al. (1993)[5] and in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005):

Bouchet and Rocroi (2005) includes the Pleurotomarioidea in the Vetigastropoda, following Ponder and Lindberg (1997), but refers to the Vetigastropoda simply as a clade.

2008 taxonomyEdit

P. J. Wagner 2008[6] includes the superfamily Pleurotomarioidea, (ex Pleurotomariacea) in the suborder Pleurotomariina and superorder Vetigastropoda. This is an as yet (September 2010) unpublished opinion by Wagner.[6]


  1. ^ Lindberg, edited by Winston F. Ponder, David R. (2008). Phylogeny and evolution of the Mollusca. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25092-5.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Bouchet, P.; Rocroi, J.-P. (2005). "Classification and Nomenclator of Gastropod Families". Malacologia. 47 (1–2).
  3. ^ a b Harasewych, M. (2002). "Pleurotomarioidean gastropods". Advances in Marine Biology. 42: 237–294. doi:10.1016/S0065-2881(02)42015-9. ISBN 9780120261420. ISSN 0065-2881. PMID 12094724. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Classification of J. D. Stilwell et al. 2004 J. D. Stilwell, W. J. Zinsmeister, and A. E. Oleinik. 2004. Early Paleocene Mollusks of Antarctica: Systematics, Paleoecology and Paleobiogeographic Significance. Bulletins of American Paleontology 367
  5. ^ Tracey, S.; J.A. Todd; D.H. Erwin (1993). Mollusca, Gastropoda; in : M.J. Benton (ed.) The Fossil Record, volume 2. London: Chapman & hall. pp. 131–167.
  6. ^ a b [unreliable source?] Classification of P. J. Wagner 2008 P. J. Wagner. 2008. Paleozoic Gastropod, Rostroconch, Helcionelloid and Tergomyan Database. (unpublished).