whelk

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whelk,

large marine gastropodgastropod,
member of the class Gastropoda, the largest and most successful class of mollusks (phylum Mollusca), containing over 35,000 living species and 15,000 fossil forms.
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 snail found in temperate waters. The whelk is sometimes eaten, but when food is plentiful, fishermen frequently use it for bait. Whelks are scavengers and carnivores, equipped with an extensible proboscis, tipped with a filelike radula, with which they bore holes through the shells of crabs and lobsters, and a large, muscular foot with which they hold their victims. The thick-lipped, spiral shell has an uneven surface with many protuberances. The knobbed whelk, the largest species, ranging up to 16 in. (40.6 cm), and the channeled whelk, slightly smaller, are both found south of Cape Cod, Mass. In summer the strings of pale, disk-shaped egg cases are common along the shore. The whelk is sometimes mistakenly called conchconch
, common name for certain marine gastropod mollusks having a heavy, spiral shell, the whorls of which overlap each other. In conchs the characteristic gastropod foot is reduced in size and the operculum, a horny plate located on the foot and used to seal the shell opening
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. Whelks are classified in the phylum MolluscaMollusca
, taxonomic name for the one of the largest phyla of invertebrate animals (Arthropoda is the largest) comprising more than 50,000 living mollusk species and about 35,000 fossil species dating back to the Cambrian period.
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, class Gastropoda, order Neogastropoda.

whelk

[welk]
(invertebrate zoology)
A gastropod mollusk belonging to the order Neogastropoda; species are carnivorous but also scavenge.

whelk

1
any carnivorous marine gastropod mollusc of the family Buccinidae, of coastal waters and intertidal regions, having a strong snail-like shell

whelk

2
a raised lesion on the skin; wheal
References in periodicals archive ?
The number of whelks observed from January to May from 1999 through 2009 was not correlated with monthly or quarterly salinity during the same year of collection, or salinity in December or October-December of the previous year (Tables 14 and 15).
The number of oysters consumed by whelks was analyzed using a three-factor analysis of variance after 10 and 17 days.
Collected whelks were transported to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) for processing.
Percentages of feeding whelks (Acanthinucella spirata) showed strong periodicities with summer maxima (54%-72%, July-September) and winter minima (6%-21%, November-March).
The mode of reproduction for whelks also needs investigation because Castagna and Kraeuter (1994) suggested that knobbed whelk may be protandrous hermaphrodites.
The study system is the rocky intertidal interaction web formed by the predatory seastar Pisaster ochraceus, the predatory whelks Nucella emarginata and N.
This indirect effect appears to be an example of asymmetric exploitation competition, with ducks influencing the food supply of whelks, but whelks having little effect on ducks.
Chemicals in boat paints have caused female whelks to grow penises and oysters to develop unusually thick shells.
Then, the pair adopted a stumbling, slapstick gait for Whelks, Maguire enjoying the staccato touch of a particularly lively player piano.
Locals say the molluscs are an aphrodisiac and the competitors will vie to collect the biggest number of whelks during the week- long contest starting on June 27.
purple whelks and, far out, something swimming into evening light laid on the sea to dry.
Take the "left-handed whelk shell", more correctly termed the reverse univalve shell, for example.