Goose Barnacles: Evolutionary History

Little is known about the origin of the octolasmids but the exciting palaeontological find reported by Wills, 1963 of Cyprilepas holmi Wills 1962, a pedunculate barnacle on a fossil eurypterid, Eurypterus fischeri Eichw., in the upper Silurian of Oesel, Esthonia, attests to the antiquity of the symbiotic relationship between an ancient chelicerate and a pedunculate barnacle. 

Equally exciting was the paleontological discovery reported by Collins and Rudkin, 1981, of  “Priscansermarinus barnetti a probable lepadomorph barnacle from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia.“ Identification of Priscansermarinus as a lepadomorph cirriped, if confirmed, pushes back the known age of the barnacles from the Upper Silurian to the Middle Cambrian, a change of about 140 million years.

A recent study by Pérez-Losada et al. using both morphological and molecular data further documents the relatively primitive position of lepadomorph barnacles among cirripeds.