Armored Snail Facts
- The remarkable Armored Snail represents a recently discovered species of marine gastropod mollusk which evolved an extraordinary adaptation.
- The startling discovery of this rather fascinating creature also occurred entirely by accident in 2001.
- Amazingly, this incredible snail actually evolved a method of utilizing iron sulfide in its shell. Indeed, it literally produces armor-plated shells.
- The United States military is also currently researching similar methods for developing military armor designs. Talk about an X-Men type of creature.
Armored Snail Physical Description
The shell of the truly astounding sea creature that men call the Armored Snail also appears to be composed of three separate and distinct layers.
The inner layer is mostly composed of aragonite. This is a form of calcium carbonate, common to many corals and mollusks.
The middle layer is organic in nature. It also measures as the thickest of the three layers and averages about 150 micrometers in thickness.
Finally, the outer layer measures roughly 30 micrometers thick and is actually composed of those unique iron sulfides.
This animal is indeed the only creature humans know of that actually uses metallic compounds to form its shell.
Species: C. squamiferum
Armored Snail Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
To date, the only known distribution of the rather impressive Armored Snail remains restricted to very specific sections of the Indian Ocean.
It was first discovered living at the bases of black smokers, in the kara hydrothermal vent field, which lies on the Central Indian Ridge.
Subsequently, however, researchers discovered a small population living along the Central Indian Ridge, near the Mauritius Islands.
It also lives as extreme depth dwellers. In fact, the vents individuals live near sit at depths of roughly 7,490 ft (2,420 m).
This animal is one of only a few to possess a method of feeding known as chemoautotrophy.