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Cryptochilon stelleri - A Living Relative of Protobalanus

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  • Neal Robbins
        These links have photos of Cryptochilon stelleri. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cryptochiton_stelleri.jpg
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2012
          These links have photos of Cryptochilon stelleri.
          Cryptochilon stelleri is a living relative of the Devonian chiton Protobalanus. Both are in the phylum mollusca and the class Polyplacophora. However, they are in different orders and families. Cryptochilon stelleri is a member of the order Neoloricata, the suborder Acanthochitonina, and the family Acanthochitonidae. Protobalanus is in the order Multiplacophora, the clade Aculifera, and the family Hercolepadidae.
          Cryptochilon stelleri is often called the Gumboot Chiton. It is native to the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. Cryptochilon stelleri is found in coastal waters of the USA (including Alaska), Canada, Siberia, and Japan. This chiton resides along rocky coastlines in subtidal and intertidal zones. It is up to 36 cm. (1.18 ft.) in length and can weigh over 2 kg. (4.85 pounds). Cryptochiton stelleri clings to rocks and moves slowly while looking for algae to eat. It uses the rasp-like retractable radula to scrape algae off of rocks. The radula is covered with rows of teeth that are magnetite-tipped. Cryptochilon stelleri also feeds on some types of marine vegetation, for example, Ulva species (sea lettuc), and giant kelp. It is nocturnal and often stays in a hiding place during daylight hours. The reference for this information is this publication:
      Edward Ricketts, Jack Calvin, and Joel Hedgepeth (1982). Between Pacific Tides (5th edition). Stanford University Press.
          Chitons have eight valves (armored plates) that run in a flexible line down the back. The valves of Cryptochilon stelleri are hidden by its girdle (leathery upper skin). The girdle is generally brown or reddish-brown. It is sometimes orange. The underside of this chiton is yellow or orange. It is mostly comprised of a large foot. Gills in grooves run along the outer edge of this foot. The reference for this data is this publication:
      David Cowles (2005). Cryptochilon stelleri.
          Cryptochilon stelleri has separate genders. Females emit eggs into the water and males release fertilizing chemicals. The body of the larva of Cryptochilon stelleri (and other chitons) elongates when it is ready to become an adult. The shell plates are secreted secreted by secreted by the shell glands. The chiton larva has two simple eyes.
          This publication is a reference:
      Robert D. Barnes (1982). Invertebrate Zoology. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. pp. 381-389.
          Neal Robbins
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