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Re: Bestiaries- Real Poop

>Greetings from Yaakov.
>I missed the intial bit about the Barnicle Goose.  How did this remarkable
>creature come up?  It was a source of some debate within Rabbinic Judaism on
>whether it existed, and if so whether it was kosher,  or, if it derived from
>a tree, was it really a "fruit".

There are actually two groups of barnacles, closely related.  The familiar
ones that look like tiny volcanoes are called acorn barnacles.  Gooseneck
barnacles are seen less often because they are usually found in deeper
waters, but apparently they are washed ashore on driftwood and other sea
detritus often enough to be familiar on some shores.

Gooseneck barnacles are wonderfully shaped to be mistaken for embryo geese.
They attach to a solid surface, such as a piece of wood, by a long sturdy
flexible "neck."  At the other end, the neck emerges from a pair of
clam-like shells (the creature is actually more closely related to crabs.)
Those shells, in the species I've seen illustrated (Lepas anatifera) are
shaped like little bird wings folded against a small body.  To perfect the
image, the end of the shell away from the neck has hanging from it the
feathery 'feet' that the barnacle uses to sweep food into its hidden mouth.

This and other wonderful beasts are found in Exotic Zoology, by Willy Ley,
The Viking Press, New York, 1959.  He's written a couple of books on the
subject, and he traces the concepts and attitudes of humans toward the
animal world.  An excellent source for our needs!

                                ------Mistress Moira Maureen ua Seamus
                                      (Sherna Comerford, who is mundanely
                                        a professional naturalist.  :)

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