Gooseneck Barnacles

  • 2
    Shares


I was walking around the tip of Cape Henlopen in Lewes, Delaware last week when I came across the prettiest thing I have ever found on a beach — a bunch of gooseneck barnacles. Barnacles are filter feeding crustaceans that attach to rocks or flotsam in the marine intertidal zone. These were attached to a floating marker that had broken its rope — a bright blue and orange rigid plastic ball that said 29. I expect that when the tide came back, float 29’s community went back out to sea.

Gooseneck Barnacles

Gooseneck Barnacles

As surprising as it now sounds, in ancient times these barnacles were thought to be the immature stage of a bird called the (). The shell and stalk kind of resemble the head and neck of a white-faced goose, right? Barnacle geese migrate to Britain and Ireland to overwinter there, but they nest elsewhere. Once upon a time, finding no nests, eggs, or chicks, people concluded that the birds grew from gooseneck barnacles until fully feathered and then sprang out of the sea. Very imaginative!

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Share this post with your friends

  • 2
    Shares


Facebook Comments

3
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
avatar
whirlwindwoo
whirlwindwoo

Goosenecked Barnacles

Doris Charles

Gooseneck Barnacles

Wai Ling  Liu

nice thanks