Chitons

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Chitons are easy to miss, so slow down and look with fresh eyes at lumps and changes in texture on rocky surfaces.

Mossy chitons are often seen during the day as they do not hide under rocks as most chitons do.

It has stiff hairs covering its girdle, which is the edge all the way around. The Hairy Chiton can look similar, but has soft hairs, not stiff ones.

Chitons have 8 overlapping plates that protect them and give them structure.  When a chiton dies, the fleshy part falls off, revealing the hard wing-shaped plates.  Look for their beautiful light turquoise blue color on the beach.  They are really fun to discover.

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Eight overlapping shell plates seen on the inside of a dead chiton.

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