Barnacle and Tidal Pool

January 08, 2011

Photographer: John Stetson
Summary Author: John Stetson; Peter Stetson

The barnacle featured above was found in a tidal pool near Town Landing at Falmouth, Maine. This specimen is approximately 1/4 in (0.5 cm) in diameter. The feeding legs (cirri) are extended in order to filter plankton and absorb oxygen. Barnacles are crustaceans and therefore are related to lobsters but unlike lobsters they're encrusters -- they affix themselves to hard surfaces. Because of this characteristic they're a nuisance to boaters and can foul water-intake valves.

Charles Darwin's eight-year study of barnacles helped him to perfect scientific nomenclature. Note that cirri is the plural of cirrus, the word (from Latin meaning fiber) that Luke Howard chose in 1815 when he devised a system for identifying clouds. Photo taken on November 27, 2010.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D300; Lens: 105.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 105.0mm (35mm equivalent: 157mm); Aperture: f/32.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 200.