Barnacles aren’t exactly renowned for their athleticism, staying glued in place for much of their lives. But turtle-riding barnacles are fidgety travelers.
As adults, the turtle barnacles (Chelonibia testudinaria) can move about 1.4 millimeters a week across turtle shells, researchers report October 6 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Previous observations of barnacles stuck on green sea turtles suggested that the creatures were somehow mobile, propelled by either outside forces or their own actions. But this is the first experimental confirmation that they embark on self-directed treks.
Barnacles start life as free-swimming larvae, eventually settling and adhering to rocks, ship hulls or even the skin of marine mammals
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