Tuesday, 20 February 2018



Now I've got your attention I wanted to talk about barnacles. Those scratchy little protuberances that have a habit of ripping your flesh; when you're taking a chilly swim in English waters and you come into contact with barnacle-encrusted groynes and rocks . In fact, they are rather interesting little creatures. And creatures they certainly are.

Barnacles are actually related to crabs and lobsters. They are exclusively marine, i.e. they are only found in and around the sea. They attach themselves to the surface of underwater objects by cement glands - in effect, upside-down by means of their foreheads.

The animal lies on its back with its limbs projecting upwards. These are referred to as 'cirri' which are feathery and very long. They are used to filter food, such as plankton, from the water and move it towards the mouth.

Barnacles are simple creature with no true heart and no true gills. Their main sense appears to be touch. The adult barnacle has a single eye although it is probably only capable of sensing light and dark. Despite this, they are extremely successful at colonising all sorts of submarine surfaces, which is why your soft flesh has no trouble finding them.

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