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Moss Animal

Phylum: Bryozoan

Description:

White, mesh-looking growth along side red algae. Was pliable and smooth like the algae. Bryozoan "are a phylum of aquatic invertebrate animals. Typically about 0.5 millimetres (0.020 in) long, they are filter feeders that sieve food particles out of the water using a retractable lophophore, a "crown" of tentacles lined with cilia." - Wikipedia

Habitat:

Tidepools in La Jolla along side red algae.

Notes:

"Most marine species live in tropical waters, but a few occur in oceanic trenches, and others are found in polar waters. One class lives only in a variety of freshwater environments, and a few members of a mostly marine class prefer brackish water. Over 4,000 living species are known. One genus is solitary and the rest colonial. Individuals in bryozoan (ectoproct) colonies are called zooids, since they are not fully independent animals. All colonies contain autozooids, which are responsible for feeding and excretion. Bryozoans, phoronids and brachiopods strain food out of the water by means of a lophophore, a "crown" of hollow tentacles. Bryozoans form colonies consisting of clones called zooids that are typically about 0.5 millimetres (0.020 in) long. Predators of marine bryozoans include nudibranchs (sea slugs), fish, sea urchins, pycnogonids, crustaceans, mites and starfish." - Wikipedia

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18 Comments

Cynthia L.
Cynthia L. 8 years ago

So many different species!

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

I've added information on these amazing tiny animals!

Cynthia L.
Cynthia L. 8 years ago

:)

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

LOL I'm right there with you :)

Cynthia L.
Cynthia L. 8 years ago

I know, right. Of course, they probably haven't read the published works. And, they'd rather use the bryozoans as scape goats for things like pesticide and herbicide runoff etc affecting the habitat. Oh, well, not that the state ever uses such things!

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

Hmmm, that's interesting. I'd be interested to hear NY State DEC's argument on this to compare with published works.

Cynthia L.
Cynthia L. 8 years ago

Dr. Wood said that they clean the water, and are harmless. I didn't weed through the pages of writings yet, but apparently the NY State DEC thinks that bryozoans are detrimental to pond life. I know for a fact they didn't harm any of the fish, frogs, or salamander life in my pond.

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

It really is! I'm quite intrigued by these organisms now that I know they exist :)

Cynthia L.
Cynthia L. 8 years ago

Oh, wow! How incredibly different!

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

:) You're so supportive of my shots. Thank you.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 8 years ago

Well Cindy, I think you can risk that "wannabee" word from your profile... :-)

AntónioGinjaGinja
AntónioGinjaGinja 8 years ago

:-)

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

Thank you :) You're soooo close! I really did think you'd make it before me with all you incredible spottings! 2001 sounds like a great goal. It may take me longer than 6 months for the second 1,000 :)

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 8 years ago

So, Cindy, you reached 1001spots, huh? Congratulations, you have a wonderful collection. Keep on, and lets go for 2001!!!

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

Thank you so much for the information! I really appreciate it. I hope to get better images of other Bryozoan the next time I return to the tidepools.

mccannlind
mccannlind 8 years ago

Hi Cindy,
I'm a biologist with the Smithsonian. This is most definitely a bryozoan, probably from the family Membraniporidae or Electridae. Without a close up it's hard to say which group. They are very common, especially growing on seaweeds.

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 8 years ago

I've uploaded a cropped image of the spotting. Any Bryozoan experts on?

San Diego, California, USA

Spotted on Nov 23, 2011
Submitted on Nov 23, 2011

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Reference