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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pirates and Barnacles

Barnacles
My soul is sailing through the sea,
But the Past is heavy and hindereth me.
The Past hath crusted cumbrous shells
That hold the flesh of cold sea-mells
About my soul.
The huge waves wash, the high waves roll,
Each barnacle clingeth and worketh dole
And hindereth me from sailing!
Old Past let go, and drop i’ the sea
Till fathomless waters cover thee!
For I am living but thou art dead;
Thou drawest back, I strive ahead
The Day to find.
Thy shells unbind! Night comes behind,
I needs must hurry with the wind
And trim me best for sailing.
 ~ Sidney Lanier, 1867

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So, I just felt inspired to do something about barnacles. 
On Saturday, for our Pirate and Mermaid Party, 
Dressed as a pirate, I wore barnacles on my arm. . .

 My inspiration? 

Pirates of the Carribbean, of course.  
I was going to put them on my face...
but I got scared. 
Check out that creepy barnacle on on his cheek! "ugh"

Bootstrap Bill Turner

 
 About Barnacles:
Barnacles attach themselves to animals when they are very young and in the larvae stage of their lives. Once the baby barnacle has effectively glued itself to something hard, a thin layer of flesh wraps around the barnacle and an outer shell is produced. Once the barnacle has an outer shell, it is protected from the elements and all kinds of predators. 



As soon as the baby barnacle has fixed itself onto something, it is generally there for the rest of it's life. Barnacles are filter feeders (also known as suspension feeders) that feed on food particles that they strain out of the water. The shell of the barnacle is made up of a number of plates (usually 6), with feathery leg-like appendages that draw water into their shell so that they can feed. 

 Barnacles have numerous predators, particularly when they are babies and floating around in the water looking for something to attach themselves to. As the barnacle larvae are so tiny, they float around with the plankton in the water. Once the barnacle is older and has it's tough outer shell, few predators can actually eat it.  

One species (the goose barnacle) is eaten by humans in Spain and Portugal.




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