Sunday, August 30, 2009

South Cottesloe Beach - Chitons - Ischnochiton torri

I dug into my image folders again and found that had actually taken some proper shots of Ischnochiton torri. If you remember from my last post, it's the one with eight brown plates with white streaks on each plate, and the plates are surrounded by a distinctive orange girdle.




The last two shots show another chiton curling up. Never having seen a chiton curling up before, I initially thought it was some kind of shrimp : ) Chitons can curl up to protect the muscular foot.

They scrape off algae and small animals off rocky surfaces using their wonder toothed tongue. Chitons have teeth coated by magnetite, making their teeth comparable in hardness to a kitchen kife!

David Macey, a scientist from Murdoch University said this about chiton's teeth in an interview with ABC Television: "Their hardness on a scale of 0-10 is 6.5. .. And a kitchen knife would be around about 6.3 , 6.4 depending on how good your kitchen knife was. So they are really are very hard, they could eat steel if they wanted to." Aren't you impressed!

12 comments:

abhinav said...

hichai, the pictures are particularly nice. i love your work. three cheers for ur work on marine life. thanks abhinav

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Abhinav,

Thanks for your encouragement.

Cheers,
Chai

glhopman said...

thanks for the pictures. i have seen many chitons, but never had the opportunity to see one curled up. Also, the interview that you linked to was amazing! I've saved it so i can read it again in the future!

Steve Reynolds said...

Hi Chai
It was me that showed your blog to Abhinav, an Indian seaman who left Pt Adelaide today. I'm voluteering for Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea, for seamen visting Outer Harbor. I get to drive a 12-seater bus, meet interesting people & work with computers, etc..
Steve

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks, glhopman.
Care to let me know your first name?

: )

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Steve,

Wow! Sounds like you had a good time! And thanks so much for advertising my blog.

Chai

glhopman said...

my name is Gerrit Hopman

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Denis Wilson said...

I have a friend in the Upper Hunter who lives on Ironstone Mountain where they mine magnetite.
I shall tell her about your Chiton teeth story.
Cheers
Denis

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks, Denis!

glhopman said...

I contacted David Macey (who was interviewed in the link you posted)he sent me the morst recent journal article that they have written. it is very interesting. it is a pdf file so if you would like to see it feel free to e-mail me and I will send it to you. gerrithopman@yahoo.com

sreeju said...

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