Mollusca – Polyplacophora


Chitons or polyplacophorans, are adapted for life on rocky surfaces in the wave-washed intertidal zone. They are oval in shape, having eight separate shell plates (resembling and functioning as armour) that overlap to protect the chiton’s back. A tough, scaly tissue called the girdle surrounds this shell. Lacking eyes and tentacles, these vegetarians use their radula (rasping tongue) to scrape algae off rocks.

Did you know?

Normally clinging tightly to rocks with its broad muscular foot, a chiton can roll up into a ball to protect itself if dislodged by a bird, crab or fish.

Chitons on limestone reef