weighed down... and a long way from


Senior Member
Estonian - Estonia
Taken from BBC series "Life on Earth". Attenborough talks about the octopuses and about their relations with the molluscs. He says: It's difficult to remember at times that the octopus is a mollusc and that most of its relations are weighed down with shells and a long way from being quick-moving or intelligent.

What means these expressions in bold? Shells are main difference?
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    This sentence doesn't say whether shells are the main difference.

    Shells are heavy: they weigh down the animal inside. As a result, these molluscs with shells are not at all quick-moving or intelligent.

    "Weighed down" means that the extra weight is acting as a sort of brake on the mollusc, preventing quick motion.
    < Previous | Next >