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>> Byozoa, Moss animals, Westerhever, Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, Germany
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Byozoa, Moss animals, Westerhever, Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, Germany
With wind and waves, samples of underwater sea fauna and flora become visible on beaches. Here masses of light "leaves" of Bryozoa, "moss animals" are found. They are colonies of small 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. Of the about 4000 species only few live in cold waters as the specimen on the picture.
Individuals in bryozoan (ectoproct) colonies are called zooids, since they are not fully independent animals.