chiton


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chiton

(kī`tən), common name for rock-clinging marine mollusks of the class Polyplacophora. Chitons are abundant on rocky coasts throughout most of the world, from the intertidal zone to a depth of about 1,200 ft (400 m). They range in length from 1-2 in. to 12 in. (1.2–30 cm), according to the species, but most are 1 to 3 in. (2.5–7.5 cm) long. The body of a chiton is low and oval; it is covered dorsally by a slightly convex shell consisting of eight linearly arranged overlapping plates. The shell may be dull or brightly colored. Most of the lower surface consists of a broad, flat foot with which the chiton clings to hard surfaces, often so tightly that a sharp instrument is needed to pry it loose. When dislodged, a chiton rolls into a ball. Beneath the shell is the characteristic molluscan mantle, a fleshy outfolding of the body wall. The lower edge of the mantle, called the girdle, extends below the edge of the shell and aids the foot in gripping. The girdle may be very wide and extend upward over the shell; in some species it is smooth or covered with scales, hairs, or spines that give the animal a shaggy appearance. The many gills are arranged in two rows within the mantle, one on either side of the body. The mouth, located on the ventral surface in front of the foot, contains a toothed, tonguelike scraping organ, the radula. Chitons crawl slowly by means of muscular undulations in the foot. Most are herbivorous, feeding on algae scraped from rocks and shells with the radula; some are carnivorous or omnivorous. Most feed at night and shelter under rock ledges by day. Chitons are classified in the phylum MolluscaMollusca
, taxonomic name for the one of the largest phyla of invertebrate animals (Arthropoda is the largest) comprising more than 50,000 living mollusk species and about 35,000 fossil species dating back to the Cambrian period.
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, class Polyplacophora, order Polyplacophora.
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chiton

[′kīt·ən]
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for over 600 extant species of mollusks which are members of the class Polyplacophora.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
They attached a chiton lens to the end of a microscope objective in a water bath.
Type species: Chiton textilis Gray, 1828, by subsequent designation (Gray 18476: 168).
Using the chiton teeth model has another advantage: engineering nanocrystals can be grown at significantly lower temperatures, which means significantly lower production costs.
, the team thinks that aplacophorans actually evolved from chitons by shedding their shells.
Mots cles: connaissances traditionnelles, etude sur le terrain, etude collaborative sur le terrain, ecologie, chiton noir, Katharina tunicata, glace de mer, collaboration, Alutiiq, Inuit
(Vlahos 2011, 42) Vlahos takes auton in 19.235 as referring to Odysseus and translates it as "him," though grammatically it is equally, if not more, valid to take it as "it," referring to the chiton. Either way he finds this passage "very offensive to a grieving wife whose husband has been gone for twenty years," because, as he sees it, it talks about the attention of other women to Odysseus.
Dressed in a floor-length green-lame chiton, her curly black hair cascading to her waist, and her eyes made up with an inky Cleopatra swoop nearly an inch wide, she looked like an extra in a 1950s biblical epic.
(6.) Cited in Marina Warner, "The Slipped Chiton," in