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Inhabitants of Oregon's Tidepools: Gooseneck Barnacles

The flexible stalks may be hidden, covered by the hard shells.

Dozens of off-white plates form two shielding halves around the bulk of the gooeseneck (leaf) barnacle’s body; a tough, rubbery stalk connects it to the rock. A great combination in the gooseneck barnacle’s heavy surf habitat: armor and give.

Together acting like gently-cupped hands, dozens of off-white plates form two shielding halves around the bulk of the goosneck barnacle’s body.  A tough, brownish, rubbery stalk thicker than your thumb connects the leaf barnacle to the rock.  Leaf barnacles tend to grow in clumps, and individuals in each clump tend to orient the same way.Water currents or cascades will entice the gooseneck barnacle to gape those shielding halves and extend its ten feathery legs to feed on plankton and detritus in the water. The long slits between the halves are parallel to the main water current.

While well-adapted to wave action, leaf barnacles cannot stand up to scuffing human feet.

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