No evidence for interaction in the active feeding behavior in pairs of the intertidal barnacle Balanus glandula.
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Barnacles are gregarious, suspension-feeding invertebrates. They are found mostly in the intertidal and sub-tidal zones, and densely aggregated to facilitate sexual reproduction by copulation. By living together in dense groups, barnacles can change their local flow environment, potentially altering the behavior or energetics of their neighbors. In this study, I recorded video of small aggregations of the barnacle Balanus glandula and studied whether or not individuals responded to adjacent barnacles in their active feeding behavior by either maintaining synchrony or asynchrony in cirral beating. I found that barnacles do not exhibit any behavior that suggests sensitivity to neighbors’ cirral positions, and that the difference in beating phase between actively feeding individuals follows a periodic function as would be expected when comparing the phase of the two individuals beating independently.