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Megabalanus coccopoma (4) Giant Tropical Red Titan Acorn Barnacle Crostacea Cirripedia Balanidae

  • Product Code: C22915
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Origin : Pacific Ocean

Size : 220 gr - cm 19 x 12.5 x 10.3

Giant Tropical Red Titan Acorn Barnacle Megabalanus coccopoma Crostacea Cirripedia Balanidae, Large irregular cluster colony , 220 gr - cm 19 x 12.5 x 10.3, only a piece, as in the photo.
Family: Balanidae (barnacles).
Common name: Titan Acorn Barnacle.

Megabalanus coccopoma is a tropical species of barnacle first described by Charles Darwin in 1854. Its original range is the Pacific coasts of South and Central America, but it is extending its range to other parts of the world probably due to encrustations on ship hulls, so much so that it appeared in Belgian waters in 1997. It is now also present on the United States coast from North Carolina south to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico.
M. coccopoma is a large species with calcareous plates that form a cone reaching a height and width of 5 centimeters. The plates are smooth and are fused together. They are pink and are separated by narrow purple or white rays and the opening at the top is small. In the Pacific Ocean this species can be confused with Megabalanus californicus but that species is darker in color, has a wider aperture, and has wider rays between the plates.
Colonies of this barnacle grow on rocks and other hard substrates from low tide level to about 100 meters. Fossil specimens have been found in rocks dating back to the Oligocene and were found in Baja California in the Pliocene at a time when that area was 480 km further south.
M. coccopoma is a suspension feeder, extending its cirri (modified legs) from the opening at the top of its shell to capture plankton. As with other barnacles, sexual reproduction involves the passage of sperm along a long thin tube into the mantle cavity of a nearby barnacle. Fertilization is internal and the larvae are planktonic. They are gregarious and tend to settle near others of their species on rocks, on new artificial structures such as cables, buoys and boat hulls, and even on the shells of bivalve molluscs.

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