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Thursday, March 10, 2016

A tale of two...

...barnacles!


These large barnacles were growing on the bottom of an oceanographic buoy.  It was a nice comparison of two local species.

Did you notice the different colors of the opercular membranes that are visible on the inside of the plates?

The right-hand barnacle, with a turquoise and red-orange membrane, is Megabalanus californicus.  The left-hand barnacle, with a yellow-orange membrane, is Balanus nubilus.  [Fun fact: Balanus nubilus was first described by Charles Darwin in 1854.]

Megabalanus is a more southern species, but it has become more common in this area during the past couple of warm-water years.
 

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