Monday, May 03, 2021

Bearing the world on his back

 In the bottom few metres of the intertidal zone, I found chitons. Many chitons, tiny to "giant", of at least 4 different species.

This one resists being identified. Is this burden he carries from a sense of responsibility for the world, camouflage, or just because of his attractive personality?

Hardly identifiable as a chiton at all.

Except from the underside. Mouth on the left.

He could possibly be a mossy chiton. Mopalia mucosa: they grow dark, bristle-like hairs around the outer edges. But the algae he wears make it hard to be sure.

He's carrying 5 barnacles of the larger local species, which with time could immobilize him under their weight. But he's not fazed; there's room for more.

I labelled the photo of his back.

4 species of algae, 2 of barnacles, mussels and limpets and a tiny hermit crab. There's probably more, hiding under the sea lettuce.

Tomorrow: the rest of the chitons.


Entre los últimos metros de la zona baja intramareal, encontré muchos quitones, de varias especies, desde las más pequeñas hasta los que llamamos "gigantes".

Este quitón resiste la identificación. Lleva el mundo en su dorso; ¿será por su gran sentido de responsibilidad hacia su comunidad, para servir de camuflaje, o simplemente porque tiene una personalidad tan atrayente?

Desde arriba, casi no se puede identificar como quitón, pero boca arriba, se ve la forma. Puede ser un quitón "cubierto de musgo", Mopalia mucosa, ya que estos llevan pelos oscuros, tiesos, alrededor de las placas dorsales. Pero por la algas que lleva, es difícil distinguir la especie por cierto.

Lleva 5 bálanos de la especie local grande, los cuales con el tiempo pueden llegar a pesar tanto que se le haga imposible moverse. Pero no se da por vencido; hay lugar para más.

Marqué la foto con algunas identificaciones. Hay 4 especies de alga marina, 2 especies de bálanos, mejillones y lapas y un cangrejo ermitaño miniaturo. Probablemente habrá más, escondido bajo la lechuga marina.

Para mañana, dejo los demás de los quitones.


  1. Wow - is there no end to your curiosity.

    I do hope you one day print / publish the best of your blog - even in blog2book which would be nice record of all you've discovered.

    1. Thank you. I've thought of it. I'll look into blog2book.

    2. Blog2book do a good service - their books are quite expensive but well produced. But they also do a PDF version which is super cheap - you can download your entire blog and have a full printable PDF record for only a few dollars. It can then also be read on e-readers etc.

  2. That is very fun to see. Thank you again.


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