Anatomy of Limpets

Critter Club went to Taylor’s Mistake Beach to look at the rock pools and found several species of limpets.

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Limpets are a type of Gastropod (which includes garden snails).

They have an incredible grip to rocks when they need to, but also move via a snail-like foot.

Their tongue (radula) rasps algae from rocks, similar to a snail.

The tongue has teeth, which are reinforced with iron hydroxide (goethite).

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This is a close up the radula and it’s teeth. From wikipedia, by Eystein-thom

There is a really great article on wikipedia. It has a very high quality and detailed limpet anatomy diagram:

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Author(s): K. D. Schroeder. Saltwater Limpet Diagram-en.svg from Wikimedia Commons. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0.

The ring of gills very interesting – this is how the limpet gets it’s oxygen from the water.

Here is a link to a page on Naturewatch about limpets: http://naturewatch.org.nz/taxa/47679-Patellogastropoda

As of now 11 species have been recorded in New Zealand on Naturewatch

Shh secretly, the most interesting part about a limpet is that it poops over it’s head :D
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