Diagrammatic transverse view of the buccal cavity of a gastropod, indicating the odontophore (o).
The rest of the body of the snail is shown in green. The food is shown in blue. Muscles that control the radula are shown in brown. The surface of the radula ribbon, with numerous teeth, is shown as a zig-zag line

The odontophore is part of the feeding mechanism in molluscs. It is the cartilage which underlies and supports the radula, a ribbon of teeth.[1] The radula is found in every class of molluscs except for the bivalves.

The feeding apparatus can be extended from the mouth of the animal, and the radular ribbon can slide over the odontophore. By moving the radula and odontophore over a surface, the teeth cut and scoop up food particles and convey them into the mouth, from whence they enter the oesophagus.

The diagrams here show the feeding apparatus of a gastropod. Note however that this is a generalized diagram, the details of which do not necessarily apply to predatory species of gastropods such as the cone snails, which have a highly specialized feeding mechanism.


  1. ^ Gerlach, J.; Van Bruggen, A.C. (1998). "A first record of a terrestrial mollusc without a radula". Journal of Molluscan Studies 64 (2): 249–250. doi:10.1093/mollus/64.2.249.  edit

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  • Odontophore — O*don to*phore, n. [Odonto + Gr. fe rein to bear.] (Zo[ o]l.) A special structure found in the mouth of most mollusks, except bivalves. It consists of several muscles and a cartilage which supports a chitinous radula, or lingual ribbon, armed… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • odontophore — [ō dän′tə fôr΄] n. [ ODONTO + PHORE] a muscular structure of most mollusks, usually protrusile, supporting the radula odontophoral [ō dän′täf′ə rəl] adj …   English World dictionary

  • odontophore — n. [Gr. odous, tooth; phoreus, bearer] 1. (MOLLUSCA: Gastropoda) The cartilaginous supporting organ of the radula, tongue or lingual ribbon possessing a complicated series of lingual teeth; Huxley included the radula; see buccal mass. 2. (NEMATA) …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • odontophore — odontophoral /oh don tof euhr euhl/, odontophorine /oh don tof euh ruyn , euhr in/, odontophorous, adj. /oh don teuh fawr , fohr /, n. Zool. a structure in the mouth of most mollusks over which the radula is drawn backward and forward in the… …   Universalium

  • odontophore — noun A projection in the mouths of most molluscs; it is used, with the radula to break up food …   Wiktionary

  • odontophore — odon·to·phore …   English syllables

  • odontophore — /ɒˈdɒntəfɔ/ (say o dontuhfaw) noun a structure in the mouth of most molluscs, over which the radula is drawn backwards and forwards in the process of breaking up food. {Greek odontophoros bearing teeth} –odontophoral /ɒdɒnˈtɒfərəl/ (say odon… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • odontophore — ōˈdäntəˌfō(ə)r noun ( s) Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary odont + phore 1. : a usually more or less protrusible structure in the mouths of most mollusks except the bivalves that supports the radula 2. : radula …   Useful english dictionary

  • Radula — The radula is a toothed, chitinous ribbon typically used for scraping, cutting and chewing food before it enters the esophagus. It is unique to the molluscs, and found in all clades except the bivalves.In some lineages of gastropods, the radula… …   Wikipedia

  • gastropod — /gas treuh pod /, n. 1. any mollusk of the class Gastropoda, comprising the snails, whelks, slugs, etc. adj. 2. Also, gastropodous /ga strop euh deuhs/. belonging or pertaining to the gastropods. [1820 30; < NL Gast(e)ropoda a class of mollusks.… …   Universalium

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