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Barnacle (Balanus)

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Balanus glandula
Barnacle (Balanus)


They are found on the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to Mexico.


They live in tidal pools on mussels, rocks and pier pilings.

Body Traits

They are less than 1 inch long (up to 20 mm). Their shell is formed by overlapping plates.


Once they settle onto a spot, they cannot move again.


They are filter feeders. They send out feathery “legs” into the water at high tide to catch plankton as it floats by. The “legs” push the plankton down into their opening (mouth). They tease the plankton away from the legs and they reach up for more. They sometimes accidentally catch and eat their own young.

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They release eggs into the water, which hatch into floating larvae.

Barnacle (Balanus)


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class:  Maxillopoda
Subclass: Thecostraca
Infraclass: Cirripedia
Superorder: Thoracica
Order: Sessilia
Family: Balanidae
Genus:     Balanus
Species: B. glandula

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