Rare mollusc rediscovery in Chile

This video says about itself:

18 July 2012

Take a look at this Mossy Chiton, a member of the phylum Mollusca! Other members of this group include the slugs and snails that you find in your garden. Both chitons and snails have a strong muscular foot that they use for movement; where a snail has a single hard shell to protect its soft body a chiton has eight hard interlocking plates that allow them to curl up into a ball when disturbed.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rare tiny mollusc found after 72 year hiatus

A tiny mollusc called a chiton has been recorded for the first time for 72 years in Chile.

November 2013: The discovery of the tiny mollusc was made by Dr Moisés Aguilera from the Intertidal Ecology at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), during a field trip to launch The Open University’s global iSpot website in Chile.

Dr Aguilera said: “It was exciting because this is a very rare species, the only ovoviviparous chiton in the world and it seems to have a constrained distributional range which is not yet determined. The finding could be of global significance since populations of this species are expected to be very sensitive to local extinction. This finding will stimulate future scientific studies on these populations.”

OU Professor of Ecology and Director of iSpot, Jonathan Silvertown led the field trip on which a group of biodiversity students and scientists recorded local flora and fauna and shared this with the iSpot community.

He said: ““What an amazing start to our presence in Chile; it was wonderful to share this early observation with the iSpot community. So much was achieved on the field trip – in just a few days two students recorded 86 species on the university campus and over 400 observations were made during the week. Highlights included dolphins, sea otters, sealions, seabirds and endemic cacti and most of these now have names validated through iSpot’s unique identification system.”

iSpot is a crowd-learning website that helps people identify flora and fauna, and it already has over 30,000 expert and amateur wildlife enthusiasts as part of its community. It was launched in June 2009 and aims to help anyone identify anything in nature. Earlier this year it captured its 300,000th observation. Previous significant identifications on iSpot include a six year-old girl who discovered the Euonymus leaf notcher moth, which was quickly identified by iSpot experts as the first of its kind ever seen in Europe. Another amateur naturalist discovered a species of bee-fly not seen in Britain before.

That chiton species in Chile is called Calloplax vivipara.

2 thoughts on “Rare mollusc rediscovery in Chile

  1. Pingback: Moroccan prehistoric shells oldest adornments ever found | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Squid camouflage, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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