Hello, my fellow swimmers.
Night time on the docks is probably my favourite place in the world, and every once in awhile, you see some incredibly strange sights.
Well, I say strange, but only to us. For these Acorn Barnacles, it’s a joyous occasion! Assuming of course that barnacles have a sense of joy! Seen below, these barnacles are in the process of mating. Take a look below the picture for all the sordid details.
In this shot, we see several barnacles reproductive organs intertwined and seeking a mate. A good portion of species of barnacles are hermaphroditic, which means they possess the reproductive organs of both genders. However, despite having both sets of equipment, they still require another barnacle to mate with. While some barnacles are thought to be capable of self-fertilization, these little guys are not. Once their ultra-long organs have found another barnacle in which to deposit it’s sperm, the penis dissolves away, only to be re-grown the next time mating season comes along.
Low tide always brings along fascinating things to see at the docks and shore, whether it’s a seal hunting in the waters below your feet, or the barnacles enjoying their winter rendezvous. I highly recommend getting out into the cold and poking along the water line. You never know what you’ll see!
Stick around, and look forward to a new podcast episode very soon. We’re going to talk about the enigmatic Brown Catshark and a couple others as we continue exploring the shark species of Puget Sound!
The Bald Fish Guy