Project Description

I like finding giant Pacific chiton shell plates (Cryptochiton stelleri) on a dive, and will often glance to see if others are resting nearby on the ocean floor.  Chitons are primitive marine mollusks that have their shell structure divided into eight shell plates (or valves).  These plates slightly overlap one another and provide good protection, while still allowing flexibility for movement over uneven rocky surfaces.  The giant Pacific chiton can grow to fourteen inches (35.5 cm) long, and live up to forty years.