Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Polyplacophora: class Polyplacophora, Chitons


(invertebrate zoology)
The chitons, an order of mollusks in the class Amphineura distinguished by an elliptical body with a dorsal shell that comprises eight calcareous plates overlapping posteriorly.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



also known as Loricata or, more commonly, chitons, a class of invertebrates of the type Mollusca. Chitons are marine bottom-dwelling animals. The body is elongate-oval or wormlike and measures from 0.5 to 33 cm long. It is divided into a head, trunk, and foot (by which the animal is attached to the substrate). The dorsal surface is covered with a shell consisting of eight imbricate plates. The plates do not cover the entire body, but along the periphery, the mantle forms a leathery girdle with spicules. Between the edge of the mantle and the foot lies the mantle groove, or cavity, which usually has numerous feathery gills. The paired kidney ducts, the anal aperture, and the ducts of the unpaired gonad open into the mantle cavity.

The digestive system consists of radula, the pharynx, the stomach, the intestine, the liver, and two digestive glands. The heart is composed of two auricles and one ventricle. The nervous system consists of four cords and the circumpharyngeal ring. Sensory organs include aesthetes, which seem to determine the water pressure and are located in canals penetrating the shell; numerous shell eyes; and tactile organs on the girdle. The sexes are usually separate, and fertilization is external. Development involves metamorphosis.

Chitons are found mostly in shallow water and dwell on stones and rocks. They feed on algae and detritus. There are approximately 1,000 species, distributed in almost all seas. About 40 species are encountered in the USSR. Some species, such as Cryptochiton stelleri, are eaten as food by the inhabitants of Pacific coastal regions.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
The valve morphology of Callochiton achatinus (Mollusca: Polyplacophora: Ischnochitonidae).
Species composition and vertical distribution of chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) in a rocky intertidal zone of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Teratology in chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora): a brief summary.
The collection of the primary types of Polyplacophora in the KwaZulu-Natal Museum consists of 13 holotypes from the southeast African coast from Nacala Bay (Nampula, Mozambique) to Table Bay (Western Cape, South Africa).
BRYOZOA, STENOLAEMATA HETEROPORIDAE Heteropora alaskensis Heteropora magda MOLLUSCA, POLYPLACOPHORA ISCHNOCHITONIDAE Callistochiton gabbi Ischnochiton acrior Stenoplax magdalenensis Stenoplax sp.
More usually, Aplacophora was placed with the Polyplacophora as Aculifera or Amphineura (see especially Hoffman, 1949).
The shallow-water chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) of Caldera, region of Atacama, northern Chile.
Clase POLYPLACOPHORA (Gray 1821) Orden NEOLORICATA (Bergenhayn 1955) Suborden ISCHNOCHITONINA (Bergenhayn 1930 Familia ISCHNOCHITONIDAE (Dall 1889) Subfamilia LEPIDOCHITONINAE (Iredale 1914) Genero Lepidochitona (Gray 1821) Subgenero Lepidochitona s.s.
Gastropoda: Prosobranchiata: Rhipidoglossa, Docoglossa, Tectibranchiata, Polyplacophora, Solenogastres, Scaphopoda.
Outside the Bivalvia, calcified spikes are known to occur in the cuticles of Aplacophora and Polyplacophora. Carter and Aller (1975, p.
This fauna consists of 8 faunistic groups (Bivalvia, Gastropoda, Polyplacophora, Sipunculoida, Crustacea, Polychaeta, Echinoderma, and fish).