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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Cold Water Touch Pool (Cold Water Quest)
  • Alaskan Rocky Reefs Exhibit (Cold Water Quest)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs along the coast of the Eastern Pacific from Central California to Baja California.
  • Found on rocky shores and in crevices from the low-tide line to deeper waters.

Physical Characteristics

  • Giant keyhole limpet is ovoid in shape. Its upper surface is domed and the underside is flattened. 
  • The mantle ranges in shade from black to dark gray, and covers most of the shell. 
  • Can grow to 5.5 inches (13.9 cm) long and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high. 

Diet / Feeding

  • Feeds on algae and tunicates. Uses a rough tongue called a radula to scrape food into the mouth. The radula is a distinct characteristic of gastropods. 

Reproduction / Growth

  • Goes through a process of spawning; limpets release their larva directly into the sea

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Giant keyhole limpet is a member of Class Gastropoda, that includes snails and slugs.
  • Gastropods make use of a muscular foot for locomotion. 
  • The “keyhole” it is named for is a siphon, bringing in water over the gills.


Field Guide to Seashore Creatures, National Audubon Society
Invertebrate Zoology. Ruppert; Fox and Barnes, 7th Ed., pgs. 335, 336