is found from the southern region of Alaska to Baja, California (Lane C.C., 2000).
is found on rocky cliffs in the splash zone. They inhabit very high-energy environments because they can withstand the wave pressure very well. They receive minimal exposure to water; at the most, once a day. They are most often found within cracks and crevices in rocks to minimize their exposure to sunlight, which helps prevent desiccation. is most commonly found in colonies of many other gooseneck barnacles. They often grow on each other. You can find many smaller goosenecks on the stalk of larger ones. Within the colony the larger goosenecks are found in the center surrounded by the smaller ones in the periphery. They are also very likely to be seen amongst California mussel (Mytilus califonianus) beds (Eckman and Duggins, 1993; Hilgard, 1960; Lane C.C., 2000).
can be distinguished by its long neck, or stalk. This part of its body is usually 1 inch long. It ranges in color from reddish-brown to brownish-black. The stalk has a leathery appearance with a texture of small bumps. The shell, or capitulum, of grows to be about 2 inches long. It is made up of small plates which enclose its soft body. Inside the shell, the barnacle primarily consists of long segmented legs, intestines, and stomach. The gonads are held within the stalk. The stalk also contains the gland which is used to produce the adhesive that allows barnacles to attach to rocks so well. can reach up to 8 inches in length (Chase, 1997; Abbott et al., 1980).
is a hermaphrodite, meaning it is equipped with both male and female reproductive organs. These organs mature at relatively the same rate in the gooseneck barnacles. Although it is hermaphroditic, it usually will not self-fertilize unless there are no other barnacles within about eight inches. It is better for them to cross-breed because it ensures the diversity of their population. Once a female lays eggs, a pheromone is released letting those surrounding males know that she is ready. One barnacle will reach its penis over to a nearby barnacle to release sperm into the shell. Amazingly, it can reach about seven times the animal's diameter. Once the eggs in a neighboring barnacle are fertilized, they are brooded in the mantle cavity. has a reproductive period of about eight months, and produces about three to four broods (five to seven are possible for a large barnacle.) Thousands of nauplius larvae are then released into the ocean to fend for themselves. These larvae are weak swimmers that spend their time feeding mostly on phytoplankton. Once they reach the cyprid stage they are strong-swimming, non-feeding larvae, with a sole purpose of finding a place to settle. follow many cues for settlement. Once the cypris larvae have undergone metamorphosis to juvenille barnacles, they will search for a suitable home. They do so by receiving chemical cues from other established barnacles; meaning that there are good conditions. However, this could be a problem when competing for space. They also have to take into consideration the correct temperature, surface texture, and current. All of these factors are crucial for its survival. Gooseneck barnacles are thought to reach maturity at the age of five, and are considered fully grown at the age of twenty (Britannica, 1999-2000; Fox et al., 1997; Hillgard, 1960).
The flexible neck ofwill readily pull in when touched. This is a form of protection against predators. It can pull in its softer stalk so as to protect it from getting eaten. They also keep their shells closed unless they are eating. This helps prevent desiccation. They can then keep water enclosed inside until water is next accessible. A small limpet, Collisella digitalis, is often found on ' plates. It does not harm the barnacle. (Chase, 1997; Lane C.C., 2000).
Pollicipes pollicipes is a barnacle that is found in the intertidal of Portugal and Spain. There they are considered a delicacy, and served in gourmet restaurants. Due to local harvesting, their populations become depleted at times. They then seek sources outside of their countries and will then importas a substitute for P. pollicipes, thus bringing in money for the United States (Britannica, 1999-2000).
is not endangered, and is abundant along the Pacific coast. The only risk of lowering numbers is if the gooseneck barnacles are overused as a food source for humans (Britannica, 1999-2000).
Gooseneck barnacles are sometimes called such because of their long necks like those of geese. There are many myths that explain the naming of gooseneck barnacles. One of which thought these barnacles to be the source of geese. The myth says that geese grow from these barnacles, which is evident from their growing feathers (cirri) from their shells (Britannica, 1999-2000).
Scientists have also used the name Mitella polymerus for this species (Kozloff 1996)
Cari Garand (author), Western Oregon University, Karen Haberman (editor), Western Oregon University.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
a method of feeding where small food particles are filtered from the surrounding water by various mechanisms. Used mainly by aquatic invertebrates, especially plankton, but also by baleen whales.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae. (Compare to zooplankton.)
an animal that mainly eats plankton
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
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Britannica.com. Inc., 1999-2000. "Britannica.com" (On-line). Accessed October 28, 2000 at http://britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/1/0,5716,118971+2+110244,00.html.
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