Barnacle glue. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through the byssus (glue threads) of an acorn barnacle (Elminius modestus). This sessile marine crustacean attaches itself to a hard surface and filters plankton from the water with its feathery legs (not seen). These can be withdrawn into its hard shell when the barnacle is threatened or left out of water at low tide. The adhesive the barnacle uses to attach itself to a rock has attracted much research, as it is hoped similar synthetic glues could be created for use in medicine and other environments that call for a glue that can be used underwater. Magnification x32 at 6x7cm size.
May 1st, 2013
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