One of the many unusual and unique marine invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest, the mossy chiton is a nocturnal hunter of the intertidal zones of the rocky coastline. Recently, biologists have discovered that because they are sometimes above water, and sometimes underwater, their very primitive mineralized eyes have evolved in such a way that they can actually see images, and when they detect a predator coming close, they can react quickly and tighten their muscles, securing themselves to a rock or other hard surface, leaving them protected under their eight-pieced plated shells. This one was found on the sand above the surf line at low tide near Neah Bay, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.
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