Malacology is the branch of invertebrate zoology that deals with the study of the Mollusca (mollusks or molluscs), the second-largest phylum of animals in terms of described species after the arthropods. Mollusks include snails and slugs, clams, octopus and squid. and numerous other kinds, many (but by no means all) of which have shells. One division of malacology, conchology, is devoted to the study of mollusk shells.
Fields within malacological research include taxonomy, ecology and evolution. Applied malacology studies medical, veterinary, and agricultural applications, for example mollusks as vectors of disease, as in schistosomiasis.
Archaeology employs malacology to understand the evolution of the climate, the biota of the area, and the usage of the site.
In 1681, Filippo Bonanni wrote the first book ever published that was solely about seashells, the shells of marine mollusks. The book was entitled: Ricreatione dell' occhio e dela mente nell oservation' delle Chiociolle, proposta a' curiosi delle opere della natura, &c.. In 1868, the German Malacological Society was founded.
Obvious zoological methods are used also in malacological research. Various malacological field methods and laboratory methods (such as collecting, documenting and archiving, mollecular techniques) were summarized by Sturm et al. (2006).
Other articles related to "malacology":
... zoologists or naturalists, who are or were interested in malacology, which is the scientific study of the Mollusca ... The list also includes researchers who devoted some of their research effort to malacology and some to other sciences ... large and diverse phylum of invertebrates, malacology in general is greatly understaffed in its research efforts ...
... 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 ...