Thursday, June 30, 2011

Splash of the Chitons!

They actually do not make a splash...nor would they even cause a wave. But they are some crazy cool mollusks that live on the floor of our deep blue seas. And, I have been fortunate and lucky and blessed to have found a couple of their shells...the remnants that the Seagull or Oyster Catcher who feasted on their 'delicious I'm sure', insides. Strolling down the beach on Monday with Clint & Maggie, enjoying the sights and smells of the ocean...finding and stowing away new found treasures of beautiful beach glass...something different catches my eyes. "What the heck is that?!" I had never seen these turquoise coloured, wood bug looking creatures before. Clint said it looked like a tail of a lobster...yet it was clearly not torn off of a full piece. Wow is all I could think. I felt it was something special and I relished in the fact that I had found such a magnificent part of the underwater world. Three steps further I found a second one. What are the chances and what incredible luck! Yippeeee!

I got home, and what did I do...power on computer. Take photo of cool little shell creature photos on Facebook page and ask what the heck are they??? Chiton...pronounced "Ky-tin". Of course all of my West Coast buddies knew what it was. How am I supposed to know? I am a Prairie girl!..I can tell you what a June Bug or Fishfly looks like. ha ha ha!! But a Chiton I have never in my life seen...or so I thought. I have seen their bodies attached to a low tide rock. But they look different when they are suctioned on to the side of a rock then when they are dead and on their backs displaying their beautiful turquoise insides. Like this dude has sucked himself onto a rock or perhaps sunken boat piece. (I just grabbed this Googled image from the class at Berkley) When it looks like that you can't see how precious it really is. I guess that keeps them safe in a way...predators are generally attracted to are beachcombers like me! ;op (Even though I know what they are now...I would never rip one from it's life grip to take home...that would be wrong.)

 The super special part of being a Chiton is that they have evolved from what were known as Trilobites. We now only have fossils to remind us of the creatures that lived on earth back then...trilobites date back 526 million years ago...CRAZY! I basically have some dinosaurs my possession! Does that give me superpowers? Can I fly? ;o)

These are my very own special Chiton. The blue reminds me of the Caribbean Sea...even some spots on Gabriola when tide is low and the white shell sand is visible...oooo pretty!! I love the colouring of the outside of the upper Chiton. There is black, blue, orange and an abstract painting.

I am a lucky girl!

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