Friday, July 30, 2021

Bryozoan Beauty


Jiggly, jelly-like
A colony of zooids
One bryozoan

I know that bryozoans are not very appealing to many, but if you look at them closely, and in the right light, there's a lot of beauty tucked in there.



They're a colony of animals living together in fresh water. They're filter feeders that consume suspended materials in the water, so they help maintain good water clarity. Nature IS amazing!

Up close, the textured surface is quite magnificent. I've just read that those rosette-like features are actually groups of 12-18 individual zooids. (https://wmap.blogs.delaware.gov/2018/12/01/delawares-most-famous-freshwater-bryozoan/)

I think these little groups look like colorful stars in a tightly packed galaxy!



I picked this particular blob up because one side seemed to be smooth, and I could see the plant stem to which it had become attached. It intrigued me enough to overcome my hesitation, but I did have to wash slime off my hands afterwards.




It also seemed like it might break apart if I didn't support it fully and firmly. It was dense, heavy, globular and jelly-like.




2 comments:

Lucy Schultz said...

Did you notice the aquatic insect at the top of the second photo?

Deb said...

Yep, a stick insect like thing ...