(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Hydromechanics of the balanomorph cirral net and its relation to barnacle size
Student Author(s): Fisher, Paul
Faculty Advisor(s): Denny, Mark
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1984
Abstract: Balanomorph barnacles use their cirral net as a sieve to strain food from sea water. Previous investigations have documented activity of the barnacle cirral net, but no study has examined the relationship between barnacle body mass and cirral net size. This study explores this relationship, employing a hydromechanical approach. I found that smaller barnacles have cirral nets with greater area relative to their body mass. An examination of flow through the cirral net shows that this disproportionate area allows flow rates through the net, relative to body size, comparable to those of larger barnacles. In increasing current speeds, barnacles minimize drag of the extended cirral net primarily through vertically withdrawing their cirri. Barnacles do not turn their net edge on to the flow to dodge drag, as earlier reported.