Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beachcombing finds I: Live goose barnacles

Friday was wet and windy. So I went beachcombing on Saturday, hoping that the strong winds had brought to shore some interesting creatures. The weather was still wet and windy on Saturday.

I started from the South Cottesloe beach and walked ~ 4 km to North Fremantle (Port Beach). The walk was not very comfortable as it was cold and windy. Within an hour, my nose started to run freely. And the water droplets in the wind kept blurring my glasses and the lens of my camera.

Anyway, I found some live goose barnacles on a broken wooden pallet. And the beach was also littered with lots of blue bottles and dislodged seaweeds (see my next post).

The broken wooden pallet, about 1 m x 1 m in size, that was covered with goose barnacles.

There were very few goose barnacles on the upper surface of the pallet, but the lower surface seemed to be full of them. So I turned the pallet over.

There must be hundreds of them making the pallet their home. They didn't look desiccated, like those I found on a log last weekend. So I suspect these barnacles must have arrived on the South Cottesloe beach not very long ago.

The jointed legs of a goose barnacle - one of the indications that these animals are crustaceans, like shrimps.
A barnacle uses its legs to comb the water for food particles and small planktonic animals and sweep them to its mouth.

Quite a number of the barnacles were still alive and they were slowly extending and then retracting their legs. So I was able to take a few close-up shots of their legs. In close-up shots, these animals don't seem so creepy after all.


glhopman said...

I looked up goose barnacles and found that they are apparently a delicacy in Portugal and Spain. I can't image eating one of these. I think it would be great if you cooked these up and let us know how they taste! lol

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Well, the weirdest animal I have ever tasted was escargot (snails) which are supposed to be a delicacy in French cuisine. No plan to push my limits : )

ria said...

Wonderful to be back on your shores through your blog. I missed your posts and your shores!

Goose barnacles are awesome. I've seen something similar too on our shores on some flotsam.

The oceans join us all together with some pretty weird and wacky marine life in between.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

"The oceans join us all together..." - that is so true!

By the way, Ria, before I book for my flight to return to Malaysia for holiday (not sure when), I will check with you what days you do your shore walks. Hopefully with a bit of planning I will be able to come to your shore walk(s) and learn about the seashore wonders of Singapore.

ria said...

That will be fabulous!!

Yes, pls let me know early so we can plan! This is exciting.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
Well those creatures must be related to the tiny (but free swimming) Clam Shrimps I found high on a sandstone plateau.
Yours obviously attach themselves to a base or substrate, but in other respects they are similar.
I have so much to learn!