For the past month or so, I’ve been working on a project for my marine ecology class. We had to design our own experiment, on any subject we wanted, and carry it out.

I’ve been doing evil experiments on barnacles. Barnacles are those little encrusting guys that just look like white bumps on rocks, boats, piers, and other hard sufaces that come in contact with the ocean. Well they have secret lives that most people don’t know about. There are actually little living bodies in those white bumps. When they are covered in water, they open up their shells and furiously sweep their tiny legs around in the water to collect food.

My experiment is related to this activity, but I won’t go into detail. Anyway, here are some of my barnacles alive, color coded so I know who is who (I also gave them names).

Because I am studying how they feed, I had to kill them (the evil part) and take out their legs, which are called cirri. I photographed the cirri of 20 barnacles today, and then used a program to measure how long the legs were. It was awesome. Here is one of the pics of the legs detached from the body!

I don’t think I can go to the beach ever again without wanting to dissect everything. Gawd bless the sea creechiz.

Fish Stuff Friday: Barnacle edition

  • April 23rd, 2004
  • Posted in Aquaria

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