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A Coral-Eating Barnacle

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Title:A Coral-Eating Barnacle
Authors:Ross, Arnold
Newman, William A.
Date Issued:Apr 1969
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Ross A, Newman WA. 1969. A coral-eating barnacle. Pac Sci 23(2): 252-256.
Abstract:Many rock barnacles form close associations with other organisms,
yet none are known to have become wholly parasitic. In a study of balanids inhabiting
corals, we encountered a species-Pyrgoma monticulariae Gray, 1831-that
depends on the coral for both habitat and food. In achieving this relationship it has
gained control over certain metabolic activities of the coral, including calcification,
proliferation of coenenchyme, and nematocyst discharge. While balanids became
associated with corals 25 million years ago, evidence suggests that this wholly parasitic
relationship has developed within the last 10 million years.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 23, Number 2, 1969

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