Class Cirripedia Barnacles

The name "barnacle" evokes a rugged image of the sea in the minds of many people, but few recognize this taxon's kinship with familiar crustaceans like shrimp and crabs because the barnacle's body is hidden inside calcareous plates and free-living species are sedentary. The 1000 species in the class Cirripedia include free-living species that live directly on a hard surface or are raised on a stalk (peduncle). This surface may be an inanimate object (e.g., rocks, floating refuse, ship hulls) or the outer layer of a living whale, turtle, invertebrate, or other larger organism. Barnacles usually cement the head to hard surfaces and employ setose legs to capture plankton. Other species, barely recognizable as barnacles, are ecto- and endoparasites of echinoderms, corals, and other crustaceans, especially crabs.

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