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(da Costa, 1778)

Description (shell):
Shell thick; with a few marked, oblique, concentric growth lines or ridges: gently tapered towards posterior end, less curved than Dentalium entalis . Posterior portion of shell with fine, closely spaced, longitudinal striations. Anterior aperture circular; posterior end obliquely truncate, aperture circular with smooth rim, occluded by septum, with central pipe bearing a circular orifice (D. vulgare-drawing).

Size:
Up to 60 mm long, maximum width of 6 mm at anterior end.

Colour:
Dull, opaque white.

Animal:
The animal is of similar shape as its shell, with a rudimentary eyeless head, which is covered by the mantle as in the bivalves. The foot is long, pointed, and bilobed, and projects from the large end of the shell. The radula within the buccal mass is broad and oval, with only 5 teeth in a row. The sexes are separate, but there is neither special respiratory organ, heart, nor circulatory system. The edges of the mantle are united, so that it forms a open tube, and the entire surface of this appears to absorb oxygen.

Habitat:
Offshore, in sand.

Distribution:
Locally at the British east coast, in the Channel and off western Ireland. Not common (Distr. D. vulgare).

Dentalium vulgare