Q:

Are barnacles edible?

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Quick Answer

Goose barnacles, also called percebes, are considered edible and are a very popular delicacy in Spain and Portugal. Fans of this seafood say that it has a sweet and succulent taste similar to lobster. It used to be classified as a mollusk, but it is now classified as a crustacean.

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Full Answer

Though they have an unappetizing appearance, barnacles command the highest price among all shellfish. The word "percebe," or "Pollicipes" in Latin, means "thumb," which is a reference to the barnacle's resemblance to a thumb. The shell of a barnacles looks like a human fingernail and encloses the animal's organs, while the peduncle contains the edible portion. Connoisseurs prefer barnacles with short peduncles because they offer the best flavor and texture.

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Related Questions

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    What eats barnacles?

    A:

    The main predators of barnacles are the marine snails known as whelks that use their long proboscises to force the barnacles open. Other predators include juvenile fish, suspension-feeding invertebrates, limpets, crabs, sea stars and humans.

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    What do barnacles eat?

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    According to A-Z animals, barnacles are primarily filter feeders that collect microscopic particles of food from the water column. These food particles can be comprised of plankton or bits of organic debris.

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    Where do barnacles live?

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    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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    How do barnacles reproduce?

    A:

    According to HowStuffWorks.com, most barnacle species reproduce with nearby members of their collection through the use of male and female sex organs, or by themselves if there are no other barnacles nearby. The majority of barnacle species are hermaphroditic, which means that they do not necessarily need to mate with one another in order to reproduce.

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