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Alcyonidium disciforme Harmeria scutulata Microporella arctica
Microporella_klugei Pseudoflustra anderssoni Pseudoflustra birulai
Pseudoflustra birulai
Pseudoflustra hincksi Pseudoflustra sinuosa Pseudoflustra solida

Moss Animals: Bryozoans

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Bryozoans are primarily marine invertebrate filter feeders distributed throughout the world oceans with about 4,000 living species, of which over 300 occur in the Arctic. With the exception of one genus, bryozoans are colonial organisms consisting of numerous minute individuals called zooids.

Feeding zooids have a retractable tentacle crown (lophophore). Some classes have other specialized zooids fulfilling other tasks related to reproduction or defense. All zooids consist of a cystid which produces the exoskeleton and a polypide which contains the internal organs and the lophophore.

The colony can either be encrusting on the surfaces of rocks, seaweeds or "shelled" animals, or grow in more upright forms such as fans or bushes. The exoskeltoen can be organic or minerialized with calcium carbonate. The group has a rich fossil and ancient record.


Page Author: Bodil Bluhm
Created: Sept 24, 2010

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