Chitons (pronounced "KI-tuns") are marine snails with eight plates that make up their shells. Hard flesh called a girdle surrounds the valves and covers them to greater or lesser extent, depending on the species.
Most chitons sit tight in a "home spot" all day, and wander around at night, scraping their food stuff, like algae, off rocks, and return to their usual spot by daybreak.
|by Minette Layne|
One of the most conspicuous chitons on the rocky coast, the Katy is about 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches long, but occasionally reaches 5 inches. Its Latin name, Katharina tunicata, honors Lady Katherine Douglas, the naturalist who sent the first specimen of this species to England for study in 1813.
Have you ever seen a Katy/leather chiton?