It is commonly supposed to be capable of prizing limpets from their rock, and of opening the shells of mussels; but, though undoubtedly it feeds on both, further evidence as to the way in which it procures them is desirable.
Several million limpets-twelve million in Berwickshire alone-are annually used on the east coast of Britain as bait.
Originally the Chitons were placed with the limpets, Patella, in Cuvier's Cyclobranchia, an order of the Gastropoda.
The sheltered waters of the broken southern coast, however, are rich in fish and molluscs, especially in mussels, limpets and barnacles, which are the principal food resource of the nomadic Indian tribes of those regions.
This circlet of gill-lamellae led Cuvier to class the limpets as Cyclobranchiata, and, by erroneous identification of them with the series of metamerically repeated ctenidia of Chiton, to associate the latter mollusc with the former.