Malacology (from the Greek word malakos, soft) is the science that studies molluscs. Malacology is used in agriculture for heliciculture (snail farming), in palaeontology and archaeology for reconstituting paleoenvironments, as well as in ecotoxicology.
Molluscs are, in fact, able to bioconcentrate elements present in a very low concentrations, such as certain pollutants, and to store them in their bodies, shells or excrement.
Furthermore, the study of mollusc shells (layers of growth, chemical composition, isotopes) reveals a lot of information on the environment in which these organisms live, or lived.
Learn more about this subject in the Mollusc shells: history of the environment File
Naticarius orientalis is a marine mollusc that lives on the coast of East Timor. It is a nocturnal mollusc that spends its days under the sand. Note the lively colours of the mantel that covers its shell. © Nick Hobgood CC by-sa