Southern California Scaled Chiton


Scaled Chiton

Scaled Chiton Info

The Southern California Scaled Chiton is a common animal that lives in the inter-tidal region of the California coast. We saw this Scaled Chiton (say quickly, "KITE-un") on a rock ledge above the tide pools near Point Loma in San Diego. The inter-tidal region is the part of the shore that is between the tides. That is, at high tide the inter-tidal region is underwater, but at low tide the inter-tidal region is out of the water.

The Scaled Chiton is tiny. It is about the size of a quarter, maybe 1 inch long. It holds on tight to the surface of a rock. It moves slowly, grinding away the tiny plants that it finds on the surface of the rock. It has a colored shell that gives it some camouflage, but it probably depends on its shell for armor to protect it from shorebirds and other predators.

We saw Chitons both in and out of the water. This Chiton was in a tiny hole on a big rock, possibly getting extra protection from the hole and possibly finding food growing in the hole.

Back to ReefNews Photo Gallery Volume 6:
San Diego Tidal Creatures

This webpage, picture, and graphics are
Copyright © 2001, ReefNews ®, Inc.
95 Obsidian Loop
Los Alamos, NM 87544

All Rights Reserved.