Shellfish


Cold Comfort for Barnacles

Cold Comfort for Barnacles

A WHOI research team reports that barnacle larvae can remain frozen up to seven weeks and still revive, settle, and grow to reproduce. The discovery offers a new understanding of barnacle larvae, which are abundant sources of food for larger animals in the coastal ocean. It also provides possible clues to how other intertidal marine invertebrates may settle and survive harsh winters.

Read More

Rites of Passage for Juvenile Marine Life

Rites of Passage for Juvenile Marine Life

The childhood of a barnacle is fraught with challenges. It hatches in shallow waters close to shore as a tiny larva, no bigger than a speck of dust. Currents sweep it to deeper, choppy waters, sometimes miles offshore. In these proving grounds each larva floats, at the mercy of hungry fish and swift ocean currents. Billions of larvae?including fish, lobsters, clams, starfish, and sea cucumbers?begin life this way. Only a few survive and return to shore, where they settle on rocks or sandy seafloor to become adults. Why larvae make their offshore journey remains unclear, but we are beginning to uncover the intricacies of their return trip?learning how waves, currents, eddies, tides, and other phenomena bring larvae back toward the shore.

Read More