Bryozoan - Phylactolaemata
Have you ever been to a lake or pond that had a gelatinous mass like the one in the picture above? That’s a great sign! It means you have a healthy ecosystem. Bryozoans are small animals that live together in colonies. This is a freshwater bryozoan in the Phylactolaemata class. There is an abundance of them in general, but some species are considered rare.
Freshwater bryozoans look like masses that can come in different sizes. Most are on the bigger side. They are neutral in color, and most have the same design. Other than exact shape, most look like the bryozoan in the picture above.
You can find freshwater bryozoans by (or in the shallow parts of) lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. They attach themselves to anything stable; rocks, tires, plastic, wood, etc.
Feeding and diet
Phylactolaemata bryozoans are not picky when it comes to food. They will eat anything that isn’t too big or active. They like a variety of plankton.
Should they matter to humans?
Yes! They contribute to nutrient cycling. They can be food for fish and some invertebrates. On the other hand, they matter because they can get into pipelines and filters and block whatever you have going through.
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