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Bryozoan colonies

A freshwater bryozoan colony
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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A freshwater bryozoan colony

Bryozoa (also known as the Polyzoa, Ectoprocta or commonly as moss animals) are a phylum of simple, aquatic invertebrate animals, nearly all living in sedentary colonies. Typically about 0.5 millimetres (1⁄64 inch) long, they have a special feeding structure called a lophophore, a "crown" of tentacles used for filter feeding.

Most marine bryozoans live in tropical waters, but a few are found in oceanic trenches and polar waters. The bryozoans are classified as the marine bryozoans (Stenolaemata), freshwater bryozoans (Phylactolaemata), and mostly-marine bryozoans (Gymnolaemata), a few members of which prefer brackish water. 5,869 living species are known. One genus is solitary; all the rest are colonial.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.