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Tue Jun 1, 2021, 01:18 PM

'Wandering meatloaf' creature has teeth of iron

By Laura Geggel - Editor about 22 hours ago

Its teeth sport a rare iron mineral.



A mosaic image of the "wandering meatloaf's" whole tongue-like radula, detailing all stages of development. (Image credit: Northwestern University)

A weird mollusk, affectionately known as the "wandering meatloaf," has teeth made of a rare iron mineral, previously found only along rocky coastlines, a new study finds.

Researchers detected the rare iron mineral called santabarbaraite in the teeth of the rock-grazing mollusk Cryptochiton stelleri, nicknamed the "wandering meatloaf" because it looks just like one with its reddish-brown, up to 14-inch-long (36 centimeters) oval-shaped and shelled body.

The discovery sheds light on how C. stelleri can scrape food off rocks, the researchers said. "[Santabarbaraite] has high water content, which makes it strong with low density. We think this might toughen the teeth without adding a lot of weight," study senior author Derk Joester, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois, said in a statement.

The wandering meatloaf, which also goes by the names giant Pacific chiton and giant gumboot chiton, is the largest known species of chiton, a marine mollusk with an ovalish, flattened body that has a shell made of overlapping plates, just like a pillbug. Chitons are known for their remarkably hard teeth, which are attached to their soft, flexible tongue-like radula. While searching for food, chitons scrape their tooth-covered radula over rocks, in order to grab algae and other food.



The "wandering meatloaf" chiton, or Cryptochiton stelleri, in the wild. (Image credit: Jerry Kirkhart)

More:
https://www.livescience.com/mollusk-has-iron-teeth.html



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Reply 'Wandering meatloaf' creature has teeth of iron (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 1 OP
Blue Owl Jun 1 #1
Sneederbunk Jun 1 #5
Dave Bowman Jun 3 #8
dweller Jun 1 #2
soothsayer Jun 1 #4
wendyb-NC Jun 1 #3
Judi Lynn Jun 4 #10
eppur_se_muova Jun 1 #6
Judi Lynn Jun 4 #11
Javaman Jun 2 #7
LineNew Reply .
Dave Bowman Jun 3 #9
MineralMan Jun 8 #12

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 01:28 PM

1. Mollusk Out Of Hell

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Response to Blue Owl (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 04:38 PM

5. Does Meat Loaf like to be called Meat or Mr. Loaf?

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 3, 2021, 06:22 PM

8. Mr.Meat.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 01:31 PM

2. I'd have called it

the zipper mouth mollusk

✌🏻

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Response to dweller (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 02:27 PM

4. You'd have been right!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 01:47 PM

3. How wild is that

The diversity of living creatures is always such a wonderment to me. Thanks for sharing the article, Judi Lynn.

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Response to wendyb-NC (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 4, 2021, 08:25 AM

10. Thank you, wendyb-NC. They never cease to amaze me, too. Mind-boggling. 😲 ⭐️

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 05:13 PM

6. Yet another critter named after Georg Steller -- although apparently he didn't discover it.

If was named by Gmelin in Steller's honor, following his untimely death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Wilhelm_Steller for a list of all the Steller's this that or others.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 4, 2021, 08:33 AM

11. Had heard only of the Stellar's Jay! That list is an accomplishment. Thank you. ⭐️

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jun 2, 2021, 12:08 PM

7. PAIN!!!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jun 3, 2021, 06:45 PM

9. .

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 11:12 AM

12. I used to find those from time to time in tide pool

on the Central California coast. From time to time, I led tide pool walks for tween kids on a rocky shoreline, there. I'd find critters to show the children, and give a little talk about them. That giant chiton was a favorite, just because it looked pretty ugly on the top side. Flipped over, there was more to see. Of course, I'd replace them exactly where I found them, as I did for all creatures I showed the children.

From my extensive time exploring the tide pools, I could find most of the most interesting things anytime I was out there. There were some wonderfully beautiful nudibranchs, like Hopkins rose, that could only be found on the underside of seaweeds, so most people never saw them. There was also a spectacular flatworm, with neon blue lines on it that always amazed the kids. I could always find those, since they lived on the underside of flat rocks in the tide pools.

There were color-changing small fish, as well. Whatever I found on those trips, I described as fully as I could, describing what they ate, why they lived in the intertidal zone, etc., along with giving their common names and Latin names as well. I even knew where to find empty shells of juvenile abalone, with their iridescent colors. Those, the kids could take with them. Otherwise, everything stayed exactly where it was found.

I had friends who were schoolteachers, and they'd gather a small group of about 6 students for those nature walks. I was the funny, joking, bearded amateur naturalist who went wading to show the kids things, without their having to walk on slippery rocks or enter the pools themselves. There were also pools with safe edges where the kids could gather around, while I used a long pointer to show them things without disturbing the critters. It was fun!

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