Monkey Puzzle Bryozoan
This species encrusts stones and shells and lives within the kelp zone. It grows in a branching stag horn fashion resembling a monkey puzzle tree. It is Orange to yellow in colour and grows to 30 to 40 mm.
Almost all bryozoans are colonial, composed of anywhere from a few to millions of individuals.
The most integrated colonies behave like individual organisms, for the zooids making up the colony are all specialized for certain functions and connected to each other. Each individual, or zooid, is enclosed in a sheath of tissue, the zooecium, that in many species secretes a rigid skeleton of calcium carbonate. Some zooids have a single opening, the orifice. Through this opening, the lophophore, a ring of ciliated tentacles centered on the mouth, protrudes to capture small food particles. The lophophore can be retracted very rapidly by specialized retractor muscles, and the opening closed by a doorlike operculum.
The mouth opens into a U-shaped gut; the anus is located just outside the lophophore. From this arrangement comes the alternative name for the Bryozoa, the Ectoprocta (Greek, "anus outside"). The body also contains a coelom and gonads; there is a small central ganglion, or "brain," but no specialized excretory or respiratory systems. Zooids are usually connected to each other by thin strands of tissue.
Latin name: Omalosecosa ramulosa
Habitat: It is found in the Kelp Zone down to 80m it encrusts shells and stones
Size: Colonies grow up to 30-40mm in height and diameter.
Distribution: This is found around the British Isles and meditereanean waters as far North as Norway and as far South as Mauritius