Imagine stepping onto a rock that has life, or a stone that bleeds! The title alone contains enough suspense that living rocks are something not to be overlooked. And the fact that these creatures look like rocks is not the only distinct feature about them, but they also eat by sucking in water and are entirely immobile like a rock.
Amazing rock like creatures
The creature survives on microorganisms which are sucked from the water. The blood of these living rocks contains a rarely found element called as vanadium. It is born as a male but converts to a hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by laying the sperms and eggs in the surrounding water. They form tiny tadpole-like creatures which then settle into a rock and grow as an adult. Their reproductive habit is also termed as ‘selfing’.
Weird Rock – Food of Peru and Chile as well!
The scientific name for this organism is Pyura Chilensis. It is mainly found off the coast of Peru and Chile. Local people eat it as meat or with salad and rice. Outsiders say it as a ‘bitter’ or ‘soapy’ organism. Vanadium, which is mainly found in crude oil and tar sands, is a rare element, but creatures like Chilensis are claimed to possess 10 million times more of it for no apparent reason.
It may look creepy or dangerous, but it is fished commercially on a massive scale and is a meal to residents. Studies revealed that these organisms cannot find their mate and thus reproduce by selfing, which is indeed a unique method. The alone creatures of sea world can pass on their genes by such means of reproduction.
Nature has its ways of amazing us, and this was yet another example of it!