BRYOZOANS photography:

Wim van Egmond

 a three-dimensional peek in the present and past

A stereoscopic image of this marine bryozoan (or moss animalcule) clearly shows the crown of tentacles, the Lophophore. Along each of the tentacles run rows of cilia. With these the creature can sweep in food particles. The tentacles can be withdrawn inside the protective tube. Bryozoans grow colonies. Some are branching, others form mat-like structures.

 

 
Bryozoans were also abundant in ancient seas.This fossil colony of bryozoans is called Archimedes because of it's remarkable screw shaped appearance. The colony is built by the less than one millimetre individual organisms.The fossil is about 2 centimetres high. It lived in the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago. 
More about bryozoans can be read in the Micscape article: A Mystery from the Antarctic - a floating bryozoan new to science! and about freshwater species in: Pond fairies

 

THE INSTITUTE FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE LESS THAN ONE MILLIMETRE

Volvox

Bell animalcules

Noctiluca

 Starfish larva

Stentor

Hydra

Diatoms

Desmids

Spirogyra

3D through a microscope

 

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