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A univalve mollusk of the class Gastropoda (see gastropod), family Haliotidae, genus Haliotis ("sea ear"). Abalones are marine species found mostly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The single, broad shell, which has a series of perforations near the edge and is lined with highly iridescent mother-of-pearl, is used for jewelry and other ornamental purposes. Abalones are also harvested commercially for food consumption.

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Source: NOAA, CoRIS glossary