Carnivorous gastropods

We are examining the evolutionary distribution of carnivorous gastropods.

Gastropods of the family Muricidae are carnivorous, feeding on other shallow-water organisms such as corals and marine worms.

We are working to clarify the classification of this family. Currently, there are competing systems of classification, based on either combined shell and anatomical data, or shell data alone.

We are also interested in the evolutionary radiation of the Muricidae.

Projects include:
  • examining biogeographic patterns in the light of both modern distributions and the fossil record
  • looking at how the specialised diets of Muricidae species played a part in their evolutionary radiation
  • how the long-lived larval stages of some species leads to wide geographic distribution, and consequently new species
  • using molecular markers to produce phylogenies for the subfamilies Rapaninae and Ergalataxinae.
Project staff
External collaborators

Evolutionary radiation
The expansion of the number of species in a group and related morphological forms as a result of adaptive change or the opening of a new ecological niche. For example, the number of placental mammal species exploded after the extinction of the dinosaurs, and diversified into such different groups as whales, bats and horses.