Balanus nubilus

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Balanus nubilus
Balanus nubilus (3484682809).jpg
Scientific classification
B. nubilus
Binomial name
Balanus nubilus
Darwin, 1854[1] [2]

Balanus nubilus, commonly called the giant acorn barnacle, is the world's largest barnacle, reaching a diameter of 15 cm (6 in) and a height of up to 30 cm (12 in),[3] and containing the largest known muscle fibres.[4][5]

Balanus nubilus is a northeast Pacific species that ranges from southern Alaska to Baja California.[6] It is frequently found growing on rocks, pier pilings and hard-shelled animals at depths of up to 90 m (300 ft).[4] Like other acorn barnacles, B. nubilus is a filter feeder; it, in turn, is sometimes eaten by sea otters,[7] sea stars, crabs[8] and the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.[9] Abandoned shells of B. nubilus are used by the crab Glebocarcinus oregonensis for shelter.[10]


  1. ^ Darwin, Charles (1854). "Balanus nubilus". A monograph on the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. 2. London: Ray Society. pp. 253–254.
  2. ^ "Balanus nubilus Darwin, 1854". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Richard, Martin (1997). "View from on top: mine's bigger than yours!". WaveLength Magazine. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Balanus nubilus". The Race Rocks taxonomy. Race Rocks Ecological Reserve / Marine Protected Area. December 2002. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  5. ^ Graham Hoyle & Thomas Smyth Jr. (1963). "Giant muscle fibers in a barnacle, Balanus nubilus Darwin". Science. 139 (3549): 49–50. doi:10.1126/science.139.3549.49. PMID 17752025.
  6. ^ Cowles, D. (2006). "Balanus nubilus Darwin, 1854". Walla Walla University. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  7. ^ James M. Watanabe (October 10, 2009). "Phylum Arthropoda, Subph. Crustacea: Subtidal Barnacles, Crabs, Shrimp, & Kin". SeaNet: Common Marine Organisms of Monterey Bay, California.
  8. ^ David W. Jamison. "Giant acorn barnacle Balanus nubilus". Tour Puget Sound habitats and marine life. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  9. ^ "Facts about Balanus nubilus: edibility, as discussed in cirripede (crustacean): Importance to humans:". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  10. ^ "Marine Fossils and their Living Relatives". Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2009.