While this mollusk may not look like much, it has a few defenses and surprises up its sleeve.
This chiton, also known as a sea cradle, has thousands of tiny eyes on its shell — all equipped with a light sensitive cell and a lens.
The lens of each eye are made with the same material as the rest of the shell.
However, the grains in the lens of the cell are much larger than the grains on the rest of the shell and are designed to let light pass through.
Chitons cannot move fast (most will only travel 10 feet per year) so the advanced warning of incoming predators gives them the chance to clamp down on whatever surface they are on, protecting it from predators.
It’s not clear exactly how exact their vision is, but researchers have found that these mollusks can tell the difference between an approaching predator and changes of light due to the sun and clouds.
While chitons would not be considered an eagle eye by any means, they would be able to see and detect a predator up to two meters away.
This would give the slow-moving mollusk a bit of a head start.