“Today we’re talking about a metal mollusk, perhaps the most metal animal we’ve discussed.”
Iron is the ultimate symbol of impenetrability. In fact, an old naval vessel called the USS Constitution was nicknamed Old Ironsides in an Oliver Wendall Holmes poem because cannon balls were said to bounce off the ship’s sides. But is iron an defense mechanism unique to humans. For a long time we thought it was, but there’s a deep-sea extremophile that makes a home out of volcanoes and wears a suit of armor to bed. For the scaly foot snail, living the metal lifestyle is just one way to thrive against all odds in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.