Fantasy literature is full of stories about living stones. Beginning with the trolls, which the high professor Tolkien made to turn to the rock in the morning light, ending with the Kremeniev Tricks from the thick books of Richard Powels. You can remember for a long time: Terry Pratchett came up with “silicates,” Roman Gorbsky – “rocky snakes” and “stony bragging.” It is unclear why the science fiction fight with each other, trying to invent the most authentic stone creature when it is.
Externally, Pyura chilensis from ordinary stone is practically indistinguishable. However, it is worthwhile to cut it with an ax, or cut it with a saw (the carapace of the animal is healthy enough), as all the signs of a living being appear before you. Internal organs, blood and even the chord, which could well develop into a vertebral column. Who knows what would have happened if the evolution of the animal kingdom of the Earth would have followed a slightly different path.
Pyura chilensis is a marine animal, which, among other things, is also a distant relative of vertebrates. That is, if evolution had gone a little differently, it was these creatures that could have inhabited our sinful land.
Resourceful Japanese grow “living stones” individually, because of the high content of vanadium in their blood. On unique underwater plantations live thousands of such creatures, which are then burned: the remaining ash contains as much vanadium as does not find in the heaps of some ores.
In nature, Pyura chilensis is found on the rocky parts of the coast. The primary habitat is the coast of Peru and Chile. Here they are also hunted by bloodthirsty divers: the meat of “stones” is considered a delicacy in local restaurants. However, the ability to reproduce in an animal is so high that the disappearance of the species is not exactly threatened.
Outwardly Pyura chilensis look precisely like stones. Their shell is hard, but not so much that it can not be cut with an ax. For breathing, the sea creature uses unique siphons. They filter the sea water, getting from it and the necessary organic, and oxygen.
Competently cooked Pyura is a fragrant and quite tasty dish. Real gourmets eat it raw. In the Chilean restaurants, you will serve it with chopped onions, herbs and lemon – common for seafood seasonings.