Whale and barnacles relationship questions

The Symbiotic Relationship Between a Barnacle Living on a Whale's Skin | Animals - fabula-fantasia.info

whale and barnacles relationship questions

Explore the latest articles, projects, and questions and answers in Barnacle, and find Barnacle experts. Photographed on an baleen whale in the Antarctic. .. and relationship overlap between the variables of monthly barnacle settlement. parasitic: the barnacles ride on the whale and get free food flow past their mouths but the whale derives no benefit from the barnacles - even a slight disadvatage. Since the barnacle is a filter feeder, it also gets access to more water (and food) due to the relationship. The whale is unaffected. This is an example of which.

How about all those barnacles you find on whales? What are they doing there?

whale and barnacles relationship questions

Were you ever curious as to why Nemo and his father, Marlin, decided to live in an anemone that would sting them? Well those are both what we call symbiotic relationships where marine animals interact with another in beneficial, neutral, or even negative ways to stay ahead of the competition around them!

Symbiosis is a term that describes close, long-term interaction between two different species and it stems from something called competition between individuals or populations. Competition can be increased by limited resources food, shelter, etc. If competition increases, the death rate of organism increases, individual grow at a slower rate, and reproduction decreases. These effects of high competition can cause species to turn to 1 of 3 different symbiotic relationships for survival.

They are called mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. This is, in fact, a great example of mutualistic symbiosis where both species benefit from the relationship! How, you ask, would a clownfish benefit from an an…amen…nen…nem…anom…ne? A clownfish lives among the poisonous arms of the anemone and receives protection.

Unfortunately the clownfish will not act as a clown for the anemone, but it will act as a housekeeper, bodyguard, and chef. It removes harmful parasites from the anemone, scares away predators, and provides nutrients through its excrement.


Although some barnacles are parasites, most are filter feeders. Filter-feeding barnacles are the type that engage in symbiotic relationships with whales. In biological terms, symbiosis is broadly defined as a close, extended relationship between two or more members of different species that benefits at least one member. There are three types of symbiosis. In mutualism, both species benefit from the relationship. In parasitism, only one species benefits from the relationship and causes significant harm to the other.

whale and barnacles relationship questions

Commensalism, in which only one species benefits without causing significant harm to the other, is the type of symbiosis between barnacles and whales. Cementing the Relationship Barnacles begin their lives as free-swimming larvae, progressing through six larval stages.

Barnacle | Pacific Whale Foundation - Blog

When they reach the last, or cyprid, stage, they settle onto the skin of a whale, where they complete their metamorphosis into juvenile barnacles. The juveniles -- tiny creatures resembling shrimp -- secrete cement that hardens into the hard, calcareous plates that surround them throughout their entire lives. As the cement plates meld together, the whale's skin is pulled into the spaces between the plates, permanently fusing the barnacles to the whale.

A Whale of a Ride For the entirety of the barnacles' lives they'll exist as diminutive hitchhikers on the backs and bellies of whales. They derive two basic benefits from this commensalistic relationship.

whale and barnacles relationship questions

As filter feeders, they depend on the availability of plankton, which they filter into their bodies through feather-like appendages extended through holes in their shells.