Posts tagged ‘Seacoast’

How do barnacles get on a ship’s hull?

Barnacles on Ship Hull

Barnacles can swim at birth.  When they reach adult stage, they attach themselves to objects in the water and grow a shell.

If you have ever visited a seacoast where there were rocks and piers you have almost certainly seen barnacles, for the “crush” you saw on the wharf’s pilings and the rocks was made up of millions of salt water shellfish called barnacles.

When barnacle is first hatched, it resembles a young water flea and can swim about in the water.

But when it reaches adult stage it can no longer swim, so it attaches itself to any convenient object, such as the hull of a ship, piling, rock, whale, or even a sting of seaweed.

Once attached, a hard lime-like shell  forms around the barnacles.  The barnacle eats by waving its feathery legs through an opening in the shell to pull tiny sea creatures and plants into its mouth.

In olden days, sailor of wooden sailing ships had to periodically pull their ships ashore to scrape off the masses of barnacles clinging to the hulls, because they reduced the ship’s speed and made steering difficult.  Today, special paints, prevent growth of barnacles. – Dick Rogers

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What is a sea gull?

Around the seacoast there is probably no bird more familiar than the sea gull.

It is a large, long-winged bird with mostly white feathers.  Its graceful soaring and wheeling flight makes the sea gull a pleasure to watch.

Sea gulls have webbed feet and often alight on the water to feed or rest.  They float and swim easily, often roosting on the waves.

Sea Gull

Sea gulls are the scavengers of the seashore.  A sea gull will eat almost any kind of food it can swallow.  Its favorite food is garbage.

Sea gulls often follow ships for many miles, eagerly swooping down upon any garbage that is thrown overboard.  Large flocks congregate in harbors where there are plenty of floating scraps of food to eat.

Besides garbage, sea gulls eat fish and will even rob the nests of other birds for eggs.

Thousands of sea gulls will often be found nesting on the same island or rock cliff. – Dick Rogers