Friday Deep-Sea Picture: Scaly Foot

From JAMSTEC: Scaly foot–a spiral gastropod clad in iron sulfide scales
Found only in an extremely limited region of hyrdothermal areas within the Indian Ocean, which is called “Kairei Field”. As the name suggests, this creature is covered in rugged scales that protect it from predators. How it actually creates its iron sulfide scales, however, is not yet fully understood. A JAMSTEC research team succeeded in observing the creature in an onboard tank for the first time in February 2006. You can download my paper on this species for free here.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

11 Replies to “Friday Deep-Sea Picture: Scaly Foot”

  1. A plate mail clad snail… Will they ever make it into the aquarium trade? I have a tank I’ve been meaning to fill up….

  2. The little guy’s adorable!!! That is just so amazing how it uses pyrite for pretection. Is it known what it eats? (Still reading paper, sorry if that was already mentioned!)

  3. That’s so cool! I can imagine there are fossilized forebears of this guy waiting to be discovered somewhere too. imagine those fossils!

Comments are closed.