CLASSIFICATION OF CHITON

PHYLUM :- MOLLUSCA (Unsegmented bilaterally symmetrical and provided with visceral mass, foot and mantle. )

CLASS :- AMPHINEURA (Head reduced, without eyes and tentacles, nervous system without definite ganglia. )

ORDER :-  POLYPLACOPHORA (Foot flat and mantle secretes 8 shell plates.)

GENUS :- Chiton (Sea mouse)​

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

Chitons are found in all parts of the world in shallow waters, few species live in deep sea

HABIT AND HABITAT

  • Chiton is a marine and sluggish slow moving animal, attached to rocks, empty shells, corals and under stones between tidemarks. It is mostly noctumal and remains concealed under rocks during day-time. It rolls its body when disturbed. It is a vegetable feeder and its food consists of algae and diatoms.

CHITON OR SEA MOUSE

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF CHITON

  • Commonly called as sea mouse, measuring about 1 to 5 cms.
  • Body is elliptical, bilaterally symmetrical and dorsoventrally flattened and is differentiated into a small, indistinct head, a large flat foot and a dorsal mantle forming a roof-like covering.
  • Head contains ventral mouth and labial palps. Below head is sole of foot ventrally.
  • Eyes and tentacles are absent. Mouth and anus are opposite ends.
  • Dorsal side of mantle contains a linear series of 8-calcareous overlapping plates marked with lines of growth. Sides of mantle form mantle girdle.
  • Several pairs of bipectinate ctenidia are found in a complete rows on either side of the body and lie in a mantle groove between foot and ventral side. 
  • Plates are surrounded and kept in place by a muscular integumental fold called girdle. 
  • Entire periphery of the mantle girdle contain small calcified tubercle or spicule. 
  • Exposed part of the plate is called as tegumentum and overlapping part is called as articulum.
CHITON OR SEA MOUSE

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

  • Sometimes Chiton is eaten by man. The foot is called as sea beal.

IDENTIFICATION

  • Contains 8 calcareous plates dorsally and all above features hence it is Chiton.

CHITON OR SEA MOUSE
CHITON OR SEA MOUSE
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