What are barnacles

What are barnacles?
-      The barnacle is a hardy animal that is found in or very closely to sea water
-      Barnacles (balanus glandula) are sticky little crustaceans related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimps.
 How barnacles spend most of their lives?
Imagine spending most of your life standing on your head and eating with your feet! Sound like a difficult way to get through the day? Well, that's exactly how barnacles spend most of their lives.

Where you can found barnacles:
·        At water depths to 600 m
·        Barnacles are often seen on crabs, whales, boats, rocks and on the shells of sea turtles

Life Stages of Barnacles:
1.  The nauplius:
·        Nauplius swims freely like zooplankton in the water, molting many times before becoming cypris.
2.  The cyprid:
·        Is on a mission to find a good surface to settle and cement itself on.
·         Cypris attaches itself to its new spot by its antennas.
·        Within 12 hours of attachment we now have a mature barnacle with a shell.

What barnacles eat?
·        Barnacles feed through feather-like appendages called cirri.
·        They comb the water for microscopic organisms.
·        Barnacles feed on plankton.

How Barnacles Eat?
Barnacles have appendages called cirri. They reach out into the water and grab food particles like a scoop net. When the cirri are drawn back, the food is scraped off into the mouth.  

More about Barnacles:
·        There are more than 1,000 known species.
·        Barnacles are thought to be one of the oldest surviving creatures on the planet as they are believed to date back millions of years.
·        The barnacle slides two of its six plates across to let water in when it is feeding and then closes them again which prevents the barnacle from being too exposed to dirty water.
·        Most barnacles are hermaphrodites, meaning that they have both male and female sex organs.

1-   Serial EM analysis of a copepod larval nervous system
2-   courses.washington.edu
3-   Barnacles: Structure, Function, Development and Evolution
4-   Martin Walters & Jinny Johnson (2007). The World of Animals.
7-   a-z-animals.com

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