How gooseneck barnacles mate despite having ‘unusually short’ penises.

 Pollicipes_matingBarnacle mating adaptations have been fascinating biologists since Darwin. Most barnacles have a long penis, extending up to eight body lengths to reach nearby partners. Recent publications by Marjan Barazandeh and Richard Palmer (UAlberta) show gooseneck barnacles (Pollicipes polymerus), inhabiting the wave-swept intertidal habitat have evolved a number of novel mating strategies to compensate for ‘unusually short’ penises. Video of mating gooseneck barnacles in the intertidal.

“Novel mating modes on wave‑swept shores: aerial copulation and sperm release in an intertidal stalked barnacle”. Barazandeh & Palmer, 2915

“Something Darwin didn’t know about barnacles: spermcast mating in a common stalked species”. Barazandeh et al. 2015