Where Do Barnacles Live?


Quick Answer

Adult barnacles permanently attach themselves to hard surfaces in the ocean, such as rocks or the sides of ships, while larval forms resemble small crabs and are active swimmers. Barnacles prefer shallow water; 75 percent of barnacles live under water less than 300 feet deep.

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Full Answer

Barnacles are marine crustaceans, and over 1,200 species are known to exist. Most species of barnacle are suspension feeders and reach out from their shells with feathery appendages to slap the water around them, drawing in plankton and detritus. Other species are parasitic. Barnacles compete with limpets and mussels for living space. The whelk, a type of sea snail, is a common predator of barnacles.

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