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Palate of Haliotis

Photographed by Bill Ells, UK


Image Bill Ells


The palate of mollusca sometimes referred to as the tongue is not like the tongue or palate of higher animals. It is a tube that passes backwards and downwards beneath the mouth, closed at its rear end whilst in front it opens obliquely upon the floor of the mouth so as to form a nearly flat surface. On the inside of the tube as well as on the flat surface there are numerous rows of minute teeth. There is considerable variation in the length of the tube and the number of teeth in different species.

The photo-micrograph is of a slide labelled 'Palate of Haliotis tuberculata mollusca'. Haliotis means ear-shell or ormer, a genus of gastropods with ear shaped shells belonging to the phylum Haliotis. Ormer means ear-shell or sea-ear especially the edible Haliotis tuberculata. The photo' is of a slide circulated by the Postal Microscopical Society (UK) taken using crossed polarisation with x10 objective x6 eyepiece and second exposure.

Reference:- The Microscope and its Revelations, Carpenter & Dallinger 7th Edition 1891.

Comments to Bill Ells welcomed.

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Published in December 1998 Micscape Magazine.

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