Gumboot Chiton

Gumboot Chiton

By Adam Kitzler and Niko Kruzel

Common Name:      Gumboot Chiton

Scientific Name:     Cryptochiton stelleri

Size Range:            Up to 13 inches (33cm) in length


Identifying features: Gumboot Chitons have an orange to yellow underside and their skin is normally dark. Unlike normal chitons the eight bony plates on its back are concealed. The Gumboot Chiton is the largest chiton in the world and has no eyes or tentacles; but sensory cells to help it navigate. It is very slow.

Habitat: Gumboot Chiton live on shallow rocks, where they can stick using there large foot so they don’t get swept off by the tide or large waves. They exist from the coast of California up to Alaska and down to Japan.

Food: Gumboot Chiton are herbivores and eat algae, sea lettuce and seaweed. They feed nocturnally with a radula.  Radulas are two rows of teeth that scrape the surface of rocks for algae, they resemble a sort of zipper.

Predators: Lurid Rocksnails and Seagulls will feed on Gumboot Chiton and occasionally Sea Otters and Sea Stars. The Chiton can roll up into a ball to protect itself.

Life Cycle: Gumboot Chiton can live up to 20 years and are dioecious. To reproduce the male gumboot chiton releases a cloud of sperm witch is the taken by a female, she them releases a long strand of fertilized eggs that are encased in jelly.

REFERENCES:

Gumboot Chiton Cryptochiton Stelleri, OceanLink. Retrieved from OceanLink.com on June,5,2010

Kozloff,E(1993). Seashore life of the northern pacific coast. An illustrated guide Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington press.

Gumboot chiton, Kelp Forest, Invertebrates, Cryptochiton stelleri. Monterey Bay Aquarium, California. Retrieved June 7, 2010 from http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/AnimalDetails.aspx?id=781422

Mason, S. (January 2002). Taxonomy: Gumboot Chiton. Race Rocks Ecological Reserve/ Marine Protected Area. Retrieved June 7, 2010 from http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco/taxalab/ensy02/sarahm.htm

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