Giant Barnacles, Balanus nubilus, Generous Intertidal Hosts

Balanus nubilus is the Pacific Northwest’s biggest intertidal barnacle. Large ones are about the size of a human fist. They’re big enough to add surface area to crowded intertidal rocks. As they grow, their shells become prime real estate. The giant barnacle in the image below hosts a diverse settlement. Which residents can you identify?

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Death doesn’t make the giant barnacle a less generous host. Below, a granular claw crab, Oedignathus inermis, has taken residence in an empty shell.

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I wrote a few words about granular claw crabs and giant barnacles in Security for Granular Claw Crabs.

BIG Can Be Beautiful Too!