Snails that boast magnetic boots

PERHAPS the most bizarre footwear ever seen in the animal kingdom belongs to a recently discovered snail species. The snail grows a covering of iron-sulphide magnetic scales over its foot. The “scaly-foot” snails were discovered around deep-sea vents in the Indian Ocean in 2003. Not yet formally named, they are the only animals known to deposit the mineral, which is called greigite. Other animals produce different magnetic crystals, usually iron-oxide magnetite, in order to sense magnetic fields, and some bacteria produce iron sulphide as an end product of metabolism. The snails are doing something different with their magnetic crystals,
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