Teuthology, a branch of malacology, deals with the study of cephalopods, such as the giant squid pictured

Malacology[1] is the branch of invertebrate zoology which deals with the study of the Mollusca (mollusks or molluscs), the second-largest phylum of animals in terms of described species[2] after the arthropods. Mollusks include snails and slugs, clams, octopus and squid, and numerous other kinds, many (but by no means all) of which have shells. One division of malacology, conchology, is devoted to the study of mollusk shells.

Fields within malacological research include taxonomy, ecology and evolution. Applied malacology studies medical, veterinary, and agricultural applications, for example mollusks as vectors of disease, as in schistosomiasis.

Archaeology employs malacology to understand the evolution of the climate, the biota of the area, and the usage of the site.

In 1681, Filippo Bonanni wrote the first book ever published that was solely about seashells, the shells of marine mollusks.[3] The book was entitled: Ricreatione dell' occhio e dela mente nell oservation' delle Chiociolle, proposta a' curiosi delle opere della natura, &c..[4] In 1868, the German Malacological Society was founded.

Obvious zoological methods are used also in malacological research. Various malacological field methods and laboratory methods (such as collecting, documenting and archiving, mollecular techniques) were summarized by Sturm et al. (2006).[5]



Those who study malacology are known as malacologists. Those who study only shells of mollusks are known as conchologists.


  • American Malacological Society
  • Association of Polish Malacologists (Stowarzyszenie Malakologów Polskich)
  • Belgian Malacological Society (Société Belge de Malacologie) - French speaking
  • Belgian Society for Conchology (Belgische Vereniging voor Conchyliologie) - Dutch speaking
  • Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Conchologists of America
  • Dutch Malacological Society (Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging)
  • Estonian Malacological Society (Eesti Malakoloogia Ühing)
  • European Quaternary Malacologists
  • Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society
  • German Malacological Society (Deutsche Malakozoologische Gesellschaft)
  • Italian Malacological Society (Società Italiana di Malacologia)
  • Malacological Society of Australasia
  • Malacological Society of London
  • Malacological Society of the Philippines, Inc.
  • Mexican Malacological Society (Sociedad Mexicana de Malacología y Conquiliología)[6]
  • Spanish Malacological Society (Sociedad Española de Malacología)
  • Western Society of Malacologists


Journals within the field of malacology include:


Museums that have either exceptional malacological research collections (behind the scenes) and/or exceptional public exhibits of mollusks:

See also


  1. ^ From French malacologie, contraction of malacozoologie, from New Latin Malacozoa "zoological group including soft-bodied animals" from Greek μαλακός - malakos "soft" + ζῷον "animal.
  2. ^ Home - Division of Malacology - FLMNH
  3. ^ Buonanni's Chiocciole (1681). Retrieved 8 August 2009.
  4. ^ (Italian) Bonanni F. 1681. Ricreatione dell' occhio e dela mente nell oservation' delle Chiociolle, proposta a' curiosi delle opere della natura, &c. 1681. Varese, Rome, xiv, 384 pp., 109 plates. figure 101.
  5. ^ Charles F. Sturm; Timothy A. Pearce, Ángel Valdés (2006-07). The mollusks. Universal-Publishers. ISBN 978-1-58112-930-4. 
  6. ^ Sociedad Mexicana de Malacología y Conquiliología
  7. ^ General Information. accessed 6 December 2010].
  8. ^ "THE NAUTILUS. A Quarterly Devoted to Malacology". Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  9. ^ Journal Impact Factor 2003. Retrieved 6 December 2010.

Further reading

  • Cox L. R. & Peake J. F. (eds.). Proceedings of the First European Malacological Congress. September 17–21, 1962. Text in English with black-and-white photographic reproductions, also maps and diagrams. Published by the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the Malacological Society of London in 1965 with no ISBN.
  • Heppel D. (1995). "The long dawn of Malacology: a brief history of malacology from prehistory to the year 1800." Archives of Natural History 22(3): 301-319.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Malacology — Mal a*col o*gy, n. [Gr. malako s soft + logy: cf. F. malacologie.] The science which relates to the structure and habits of mollusks. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • malacology — [mal΄ə käl′ə jē] n. [Fr malacologie: see MALACO & LOGY] the branch of zoology dealing with mollusks …   English World dictionary

  • malacology — malakologija statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Mokslas, tiriantis moliuskus. atitikmenys: angl. malacology vok. Malakologie, f rus. малакология, f …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • malacology — noun Etymology: French malacologie, contraction of malacozoologie, from New Latin Malacozoa, zoological group including soft bodied animals (from Greek malakos soft + New Latin zoa) + French logie logy Date: 1836 a branch of zoology dealing with… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • malacology — n. [Gr. malakos, soft; logos, discourse] The branch of zoology dealing with mollusks, the animal inside the shell …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • malacology — malacological /mal euh keuh loj i keuhl/, adj. malacologist, n. /mal euh kol euh jee/, n. the science dealing with the study of mollusks. [1830 40; < F malacologie, syncopated var. of MALACOZOOLOGIE. See MALACO , ZOOLOGY] * * * …   Universalium

  • malacology — noun the study of molluscs …   Wiktionary

  • malacology — study of molluscs Sciences and Studies …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • malacology — n. branch of zoology that studies mollusks …   English contemporary dictionary

  • malacology — [ˌmalə kɒlədʒi] noun the branch of zoology concerned with molluscs. Compare with conchology. Derivatives malacological adjective malacologist noun …   English new terms dictionary

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