PRESERVED_SPECIMEN; Chrysomallon squamiferum Chen, Linse, Copley & Rogers, 2015; Type status: PARATYPE; Identified by: Chen C., Linse K., Copley J.T. & Rogers A.D.; Individual count: 5; Event date: 2011-11-29T00:00:00Z
The shell of the volcanic snail is made up of three layers. The middle layer is organic, proteinous, and very tough. It is so tough that scientists are bent on figuring out how to use its features to create military-grade protective gear from it.
Photo of right side view of Chrysomallon squamiferum from the Kairei vent field.
The volcano snail is one of the most unconventional snail species and animals in the world. They live in shells made of iron, they have iron bits on their feet, and they don’t need to eat.
Left to right: -2450m, Kairei vent field (25°19.239S, 70°02.429E), Central Indian Ridge; -2785m, Longqi vent field (37°47.03'S, 49°38.97'E), Southwest Indian Ridge (Type locality); -2606m, Solitaire vent field (19°33.413S, 65°50.888E), Central Indian Ridge, Mauritius.
The volcano snail has hundreds of pieces of iron attached to its foot called sclerites. Their actual function is unknown.