A new study conducted says that a unique creature commonly called “ wandering meatloaf “ has teeth made of iron minerals. They are mostly found along the rocky coastlines.
This mollusk named Cryptochiton stelleri is reddish-brown with an oval-shaped shelled body and can grow up to 14 inches and hence they are also called wandering meatloaf.
They are also called giant Pacific chiton and giant gumboot chiton.
The iron material found in its teeth is known as santabarbaraite. This material eventually helps the mollusk to scrape off the food from the rocks.
The professor of materials science and engineering from North-western University in Illinois said that this iron santabarbaraite Material Is highly made up of Which makes It stronger yet with low density.
Scientists believe that this material makes their teeth stronger without adding weight to them.
They have very hard teeth which are attached to the tongue-like structure radula. Using their sharp teeth they scrap out the algae attached to the rocks.
2 more scientists wanted to further analyze a structure called stylus in the mollusks. So, this stylus is the structure that connects the hard teeth of the mollusks to the radula.
The identifications were done using advanced analyzing techniques like Transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron light source microscopes.
This analysis revealed that the iron mineral is found in the upper stylus of mollusks. Also, they said that this is the first time when santabarbaraite material is found in any biological specimen, or else they were usually found in geological specimens that too in tiny amount.
Hence it was found that this mollusk uses its whole teeth to grab the food.
Further studies were done by the scientists to identify the chemical composition of the stylus. So an ink was designed with the chemicals resembling the mollusks to get the 3D print.