Conchology (from Ancient Greek: κόγχος - conchos "cockle") is the scientific or amateur study of mollusc shells. Conchology is one aspect of malacology, the study of molluscs, however malacology studies molluscs as whole organisms, not just their shells. Conchology pre-dated malacology as a field of study. It includes the study of land and freshwater mollusc shells as well as seashells. In addition to a shell, some gastropods have an operculum which may also be studied as part of conchology.

Conchology is now sometimes seen as an archaic study, because relying on only one aspect of an organism's morphology can be misleading. However, a shell often gives at least some insight into molluscan taxonomy, and historically the shell was often the only part of exotic species that was available for study. Even in current museum collections it is common for the dry material (shells) to greatly exceed the amount of material that is preserved whole in alcohol.

Conchologists mainly deal with four molluscan orders: the gastropods (snails), bivalves (clams), Polyplacophora (chitons) and Scaphopoda (tusk shells). Cephalopods only have small internal shells, with the exception of the Nautiloidea. Some groups, such as the sea slug nudibranchs, have lost their shells altogether, while in others it has been replaced by a protein support structure.

Read more about Conchology:  Shell Collecting Versus Conchology, History, Museums, Organizations, Fake Shells, Depictions of Shells On Stamps and Coins

Other articles related to "conchology":

New Harmony, Indiana - Accomplishments - Publishing
... Descriptions of Some New Terrrestrial and Fluviatile Shells of North America and American Conchology, or Descriptions of the Shells of North America ... American Conchology was published in several volumes over a period of several years. 66 of the 68 illustrations in her husband's book, American Conchology, of which parts one through six were published in New Harmony between 1830 and 1834 part seven was published in Philadelphia in 1836 ...
George Washington Tryon - Biography
... with a group of American malacologists, he founded (and financed) the American Journal of Conchology ... In 1879 he started the Manual of Conchology structural and systematic with illustrations of the species, volume 1, series 1 ... Thereafter, Pilsbry continued as editor of the ongoing multi-volume Manual of Conchology ...
George Washington Tryon - Bibliography
... List of American writers on recent conchology. 1862 A sketch of the History of Conchology in the United States ... Constantine Smaltz Rafinesque on recent fossil conchology ...
Conchology - Depictions of Shells On Stamps and Coins
... Shells have also been featured on many coins, including the Bahamian dollar (1974), the Cuban peso (1981), the Haitian gourde (1973), the Nepalese rupee (1989) and Philippine peso (1993). ...