I never knew there was a fleshy animal living inside the razor sharp barnacle enclosures. Tuffy brought this cluster of barnacles that had grown around a black fishing net float. In many of the pictures I included a quarter so you can get an idea of the scale of these humongous creatures. I also got some pretty decent video of the creatures opening their enclosures and the organism alive coming in and out of it. It’s straight out of Aliens. There are many pictures on the Barnacle Wikipedia page but nothing like these. It is a very comprehensive wiki page and interesting reading about the life cycle,adult anatomy and fossil records of barnacles.
Thyrostraca, Cirrhopoda (meaning “curl-footed”), Cirrhipoda, and Cirrhipedia.
A barnacle is a type of arthropod belonging to infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea, and is hence related to crabs and lobsters. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. They are sessile suspension feeders, and have two nektonic larval stages. Around 1,220 barnacle species are currently known. The name “Cirripedia” is Latin, meaning “curl-footed”.
Click on any of the pictures for the full sized versions- especially the first one where you can really see the moving organism. Video coming tonight
For comparisons sake look at the size of these barnacles which are more common and grow on our lobster traps. For scale the yellow wire they are attached to is less than a half a centimeter thick-