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Page history last edited by Niilo Vuokila 9 years ago



Niilo Vuokila




Barnacles are Cirripedia, marine crustaceans that attach themselves permanently to ships, rocks, other marine organisms, etc. Barnacles are Invertebrates. Barnacles have special limbs or body parts that attach them to a place where they can collect small bits of food with their comb-like legs that extend outwards. Barnacles have a fleshy mantle made of strong calcareous plates to protect them from predators.


Barnacles can be found in all depths of the ocean. Some species attach themselves to other marine organisms such as the Humpback Whale, as some, only to rocks and other inanimate objects. Sometimes barnacles can create their own floating home by making a mucus bubble that hardens by time for them to live on.


Predator Adaptations

Barnacles mainly eat plankton, single cell plants and bacteria using their comb-like legs that extend outwards to comb through food and take in oxygen. 


Prey Adaptations:

Many types of organisms eat barnacles for example, sea gulls, sea stars, whelks and snails. Barnacles have a strong fleshy mantle to protect them from being eaten by other organisms, like the Hermit Crab. That adapts them to be more protected by other organisms.


Symbiotic interactions:

Some barnacles attach them to whales or other marine organisms. This relationship is called commensalism. This is a relationship where at least one organism benefits without harming the other, in this example, the barnacle is the one that benefits. It attaches itself to a Humpback Whale's belly, back or other parts of the whale and collects little bits of food. Barnacles benefit more if they attach themselves to a moving object or organism, for example whales and hulls of ships because they filter the water to get food, whereas if a barnacle attach itself to a rock or other non-moving things, they do not benefit as much they would on a moving place. Some species of barnacles are parasitic for example, The Concholepas Peruviana, but most barnacle species are not parasitic.

Species comparison

A barnacle have a lot of differences to a Hermit Crab, but they also have a lot of similarities like they both are omnivores and both of them are crustaceans. They are both also invertebrates, but a barnacle attaches itself permanently to a place when a Hermit Crab moves to get food. Barnacles also feed small parts of food and plankton when the crab eats fallen fruit, decaying wood, leaf litter plants, etc.




Cross Section Illustration Of Internal Anatomy Of Stalked Barnacle. 


Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. 

Web. 27 May 2013.



Darwin online


28 May 2013



Pollicipies polymerus


28 may 2013





Last edited: 24 May 2013 at 04:37.





 Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest.

 Web. 29 May 2013.


Museum Victoria


29 may 2013


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