The Barnacle Rap

DSCN5029 (Photo Credit: Danielle Marcoux)

A Rap about More than Just Barnacles

Barnacles live in the intertidal region.

They take over the area like the Roman military legion.

They are incredible for space competition.

They put lots of energy into their acquisition.

Barnacles attach to the coastal rocks.

Their zonation pattern is pretty orthodox.

You see them in the high to mid intertidal zone

Almost looking identical you would think they were all cloned.

Their penis’ are known to have the largest size to body ratio.

Yet they don’t use it like they’re in a rodeo.

They stretch real far into the nearest barnacle

To fertilize the egg of a female – it’s anatomical.

Once the egg is fertilized it develops into a larva.

It drifts away from its Momma and its Papa.

They are planktonic,

Isotonic.

Iconic for its Nauplii.

Really, it only has one eye – it’s a Cyclops.

Nauplius_larva_of_a_cyclops_copepod (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The further away it goes, the better it is for the population.

The longer dispersal helps with genetic variation.

If a disease were to wipe out a certain group

You would hope that some would withstand it and start a new troop.

The larva picks a place it wants to be

And it gives up its right to swim freely.

It attaches to a rock in a favourable place

Somewhere it can hope it will stay long to embrace.

These barnacles don’t just sit there for the rest of their lives.

They feed, they breathe, in a place they hopefully thrive.

Barnacles are sensitive to the environment, though.

Their responses to certain stressors, we can measure, experiments undergo.

7214196512_86f86b3f86_b (Photo credit: Flickr – Bernadette Hubbart)

Salinity in particular is a very big importance.

In extremes it may bring some large misfortunes.

Salinity drops due to precipitation

We expect to see some complications.

Barnacles don’t do very well in low salinity.

They just don’t have that natural affinity.

However, adaptions can arise

Where you may see some compromise.

Some species of organisms are very good at tolerating low salinity.

When they spend a whole lot of time in that vicinity.

They can easily feed and live a good life gently,

When some species would never spend their time there, ideally.

Now we are in a time, a world that is quickly changing.

Climate change is bringing more stress that could be annihilating.

Storminess and warming is increasing.

Researchers are trying to quickly find what it may be unleashing.

Humans are the most probable cause for this disaster

We must clean up our mess perhaps a little faster.

If we don’t, there could be a catastrophic mess.

Please let us all stand up and confess.

Be a change that this world needs

And hope to God that this tragedy recedes.


If you are interested in how barnacles feed, check out this video: 

For more information on Barnacle penis’: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/02/080213-barnacle-penis.html

Or Maybe Barnacles in General: http://ibis.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/efauna/BarnaclesofBritishColumbia.html

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