Fun Gumboot Chiton Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Gumboot chiton facts are fun to know

Are you interested in learning cool facts about a specific type of chiton? In this article, you will learn about the mysterious gumboot chiton.

The gumboot chiton (Cryptochiton stelleri) is a species of invertebrate living mainly in coastal regions. These marine creatures are found in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, Japan, the Channel Islands, and southern California.

They are the largest chiton in the world and can live up to 20-25 years. These nocturnal invertebrates have simple body parts and can survive on red algae and sometimes eat young kelp and green algae.

They range up to 14 in (35.6 cm) and have a red or brownish leathery girdle that completely conceals the eight valves or plates on the underside of their body, which is orange or yellowish in color.

The giant Pacific chiton is sensitive to sunlight and prefers to live on the underside of intertidal rocks or on rocks below the low-tide line. The species reproduce once a year, from March to early July.

These species are not at risk of extinction but their grip is not as strong as other chitons, which makes it easy to pull them off. So, there is a risk of over-harvesting these animals.

Read on to learn more about these amazing chitons and if you like this article, then check out limpets and fire coral.

Gumboot Chiton Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a gumboot chiton?

Cryptochiton stelleri is the longest of the chitons and is found in rocky intertidal and subtidal zones. They are a species of mollusks.

What class of animal does a gumboot chiton belong to?

They belong to the class Polyplacophora of the Animalia kingdom.

How many gumboot chitons are there in the world?

They are mainly found in coastal areas, however, the exact number of them living on this planet cannot be ascertained.

Where does a gumboot chiton live?

Gumboot chitons are found in quite a few parts of the world. A few of them can be spotted in Alaska west and the Aleutian Islands. They range from Japan, Kurile Islands, Kamchatka, and the Channel Islands to southern California.

What is a gumboot chiton's habitat?

The natural habitat of these marine species is coastal areas, where they are spotted in large numbers. They are found in rocky intertidal and subtidal zones and also in areas where the wave shock is moderate to low. They are mostly found in Northern latitudes where the temperature is low.

Who do gumboot chitons live with?

The species are not known to live in groups. However, during spring, a large number of them emerge from deep waters. They gather on rocky beaches to give birth to young ones.

How long does a gumboot chiton live?

These chitons grow slowly and live for a long time. They can easily live up to 20-25 years.

How do they reproduce?

Reproduction occurs in these chitons once a year. The females of the species release dark green eggs in gelatinous strings in the water. These eggs are broken apart owing to wave action.

When the males see these eggs, they start releasing sperm which helps in the process of reproduction in these invertebrates. The larvae hatch after between two to five days and swim in water for nearly 20 hours. Then the larvae settle and start to metamorphose.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is Not Evaluated under the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List. However, these animals can live for long years and are not currently facing any risk to their population.

Gumboot Chiton Fun Facts

What do gumboot chitons look like?

Gumboot chitons are cryptic creatures who remain camouflaged in their environment.

Found in many parts from western Alaska to southern California, the giant Pacific chiton is the largest chiton in the world and can easily grow up to 14 in (35.6 cm). The gumboot chiton shell looks like a reddish-brown leathery girdle and the lower side is orange or yellowish.

It also has a broad foot.

The marine animal is different from other chitons as the eight shell plates, which range from white to bluish in color, are completely concealed under the mantle. The chiton's teeth contain a lot of magnetites which help it to scrape algae off rocks.

How cute are they?

These creatures are not known to be cute at all. The gumboot chiton's shell is reddish and its shape is like a leathery lump.

How do they communicate?

Not much research has been done on how gumboot chitons communicate. However, since they are mollusks, we can assume that they communicate the same way as most mollusks. Mollusks produce a sound to communicate with mates or other mollusks and even to keep the predators away. Their sensory cells on tentacles can detect vibration in sound waves.

How big is a gumboot chiton?

The gumboot chiton can grow up to 14 in (35.6 cm). They are almost 10 times bigger than most chitons which are 0.8-1.6 in (2-4 cm).

How fast can a gumboot chiton move?

The exact speed of these invertebrates is not known. However, they do not move a lot and the adults are known to move only about 65.6 ft (20 m) in over a year.

How much does a gumboot chiton weigh?

This species weighs around 17.6-28.2 oz (500-800 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The males and females of this species do not have distinct names.

What would you call a baby gumboot chiton?

A baby gumboot chiton does not have a distinct name.

What do they eat?

The invertebrate uses its tongue-like radula to scrape red algae from rocks. However, they are also known to eat young kelp and green algae. Unlike other chitons, they do not eat brown or other ephemeral algae.

Are they eaten by humans?

They are generally not eaten by humans. However, they were known to be harvested by some coastal Alaskan natives who used to eat these chitons. You have to take the flesh out of the shell to eat them.

Would they make a good pet?

These invertebrates are not known to be kept as pets by most people. They don't do well in captivity.

Did you know...

The 18th century naturalist, Georg Wilhelm Steller, was the first to describe the giant Pacific chiton.

If the shell plates get broken in any way, these animals are capable of repairing them.

How do gumboot chiton move?

The marine species are known to grip on surfaces or substrates. However, their grip is not too tight which can result in them getting easily washed away. Also, these creatures come out at night and spend the day in areas that receive little or no sunlight.

Is the gumboot chiton edible?

Most people would not think of eating these chitons. Some indigenous people in coastal Alaska harvested them for food. However, they are eaten by aquatic creatures including sea otters, sea stars, and small snails.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including immortal jellyfish and the apple snail.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our barnacle coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

Yashvee Patel picture

Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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