Curly Headed Little Brother

What do a cloud hovering over Haystack, a puffin perched on the rock's upper slope, and a barnacle at its base have in common? The word cirrata, from Latin, meaning curl, tuft, or fringe.

Cirrus Cloud

Merrimam-Webster:

3: a high wispy white cloud usually of minute ice crystals formed at altitudes between about 20,000 and 40,000 feet (6,000 and 12,000 meters)

Origin of cirrus: New Latin, from Latin, curl

Cirrus Clouds over Haystack Rock

Barnacle Cirri

University of Washington:

"Barnacles have appendages called cirri. They reach out into the water and grab food particles like a scoop net. When the cirri is drawn back, the food is scraped off into the mouth."

Collins Dictionary - cirrus:

zoology: a slender tentacle or filament in barnacles and other marine invertebrates

Word Origin

C18: from Latin: curl, tuft, fringe

Pelagic Gooseneck Barnacles with Cirri Exposed

Tufted Puffin - Fratercula cirrhata

Eastside Audubon:

"The Tufted Puffin is in the genus Fratercula, little brother or friar, referring to the hooded appearance of the head plumage reminiscent of hooded friar robes. Its species name cirrhata, curly headed, is actually a misspelling of the Latin cirrata, and refers to the golden tufts of feathers that make this bird so distinctive."

Tufted Puffin at Haystack Rock
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