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Size – A wide variety of sizes, most commonly found in large clusters.

Barnacles are a Crustacean, related to crabs and lobsters, and an arthropod of the subclass Cirripedia. They are nonmobile (sessile) and eat by straining food particles through water simply by passing through it, this is called suspension feeding.

These unique creatures are encrusters, meaning they attach themselves to a hard substrate or a symbiont (a long time biological creature to creature relationship) such as a lobster or a whale.

You will find barnacles on almost any solid surface that gets covered by water. In every ocean, every coast, every area of the sea. If there is a solid surface, you will likely find these creatures. Most inhabit shallow water.

They are suspension feeders, meaning they eat by straining food particles and matter that passes through the water.

Barnacles are classified as a fouling organism. They often attach themselves to things such as ships, synthetic structures, hulls, devices, etc, oftentimes to the detriment of said structure. They can impact a ship’s drag to the point of creating a resistance and decrease in the ship’s efficiency and power. Acorn Barnacles are immobile, and will grow their shells directly on the surface.

There are around 2,000 species of Barnacle currently known. Barnacles belong to the subclass Cirripedia which belongs to the Subphylum Crustacea.

The Subclass is broken down as follows:

  • Subclass Cirripedia
    • Infraclass Acrothoracica
      • Order Cryptophialida
      • Order Lithoglyptida 
    • Infraclass Rhizocephala 
    • Infraclass Thoracica 
    • Superorder Phosphatothoracica
      • Order Iblomorpha
    • Superorder Thoracicalcarea
      • Order Calanticomorpha
      • Order Pollicipedomorpha
      • Order Scalpellomorpha
      • (Unranked) Sessilia
        • Order Balanomorpha
        • Order Verrucomorpha
Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash
Barnacles Photo 2
Photo by Nathan Trampe on Unsplash
Barnacles Photo 3
By iheartcreative - Envato Elements