Common Limpet

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Latin namePatella vulgata
Size – Shell up to 6cm long
Habitat – All over the rocky shore

Limpets have a strong muscular foot which allows them to hold on tightly to rocks. At low tide, the limpet will clamp its shell down tight to prevent itself from losing water and drying out. This also stops them from being pulled off the rocks by birds and other predators. When the tide is in the limpets move over the rocks and use a rough tongue (radula) to feed on algae before returning home to the same place on the rock.

Common Limpet

Common Limpet
Picture 1 of 3

Limpets graze seaweed on the shore using their ‘radula’ (their tongue, which is covered by lots of sharp teeth!). Limpets have a special place on the rock that they return to each time after feeding, called a ‘home scar’. Photo by Anna Zucconi.


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