Marine Organism of the Week
Veiled chiton Placiphorella velata (Phylum Mollusca)
Chitons are marine mollusks, related to snails, and they have 8 plates on their back. Almost all of them feed by scraping algae off of rocks with a toothed structure called a radula. However, the veiled chiton, Placiphorella velata, raises a flap on the front of its body and waits for small crabs or shrimp to wander underneath…then drops the flap on the unlucky prey, scrapes it into pieces and eats it. It lives on the west coast of the US and is one of the only predatory chitons.
Submitted by Josh Lord.