Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dead barnacles and a dead sea tulip

Many marine critters and plants literally live on one another.

I have often seen algae attached to the stems of wireweeds (Amphibolis spp.) I have also seen sea tulips and lace corals attached to seagrasses.

Today I found a special pair of such "live-on" partners - a bunch of dead goose barnacles which were washed ashore together with their host, a sea tulip.

The pink arrows point at the sea tulip. The blue arrows point at the goose barnacles.

I am not hundred percent sure that they were goose barnacles because their colours looked different from the ones I have seen. But I think their stalks (yellow arrows) are unmistakable.

Anyway, if they were goose barnacles, I wonder what happened to the shells? Can their shells just change color when they die?

UPDATE (22 August 09): Thanks to Diana Jones of the Western Australia Museum for identifying the animal to be goose barnacle Smilium peronii. See a more recent post about this goose barnacle here.


Mosura said...

Looks like something that came from outer space. I'd say they are definitely Goose Barnacle. Don't forget there is a whole suborder of Goose Barnacles. Look up Lepadomorpha.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Maybe you can also think of them as something coming from the "inner" space: )

Thanks for the info about Lepadomorpha. Will look it up some time.


Mosura said...

Yes I thought of that. Many years ago there was a documentary series about sea life called "Inner Space"