subtitle for learn-about sections of A SNAIL'S ODYSSEY

photograph of gumboot chiton Cryptochiton stelleri on a rock in the intertidal zoneDiversity and abundance of chitons on the west coast is among the highest in the world.  Moreover, the largest species in the world, the gumboot chiton Cryptochiton stelleri, is found here.  In certain Caribbean islands, where they once were harvested as food, chitons are sometimes referred to as “coat-of-mail” shells and as “sea beef”.  The large muscle mass comprising the foot, however, is tough, rubbery, and flavourless.

NOTE  the word refers to the tunic worn by men in ancient Greece, a sort of thick wool, sleeveless, shirt

NOTE  presumably named after its resemblance to the sole of a Wellington boot or gumboot.  The word “gumboot” reminds us of the time when such wading boots were made out of natural, or gum, rubber instead of synthetics.  Cryptochiton stelleri reaches lengths greater than 30cm and live masses approaching 1kg

Gumboot chiton Cryptochiton stelleri attached
to a rock in the intertidal zone 0.3X

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drawing of snail meeting chiton in A SNAIL'S ODYSSEY
ANIMATION of snail meeting chiton
© 2010 Thomas Carefoot

To learn about west-coast CHITONS: select a topic from the CHITON menu at the top of the page

OR: play the ANIMATION of the snail meeting the CHITON

OR, if you want to see other animations: follow the snail on its ODYSSEY by CLICKING on any X-marked invertebrate on the map

map showing route needed to be followed by snail to reach the top of the shore in A SNAIL'S ODYSSEY
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Phylum Mollusca (lit. “soft” L. or “shellfish” L.)

Class Polyplacophora (lit. “many plates” G.), referring to the 8 protective shell plates, including several dozen shallow-water inhabiting west-coast species

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map used by snail to find its way to the top of the shore in A SNAIL'S ODYSSEY