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Magnificent Bryozoan

Posted on Jul 24, 2015

And now for something completely different: a brick! More specifically, a brick with a colony of microscopic aquatic animals on it. This strange blob is a colonial freshwater bryozoan, also known as the Magnificent Bryozoan (Pectinatella magnifica). The brick is an old, classic Jamestown street paver. Both were found during our survey of the Chadakoin River in Jamestown today, as part of our Project Wild America youth ambassador program. I think this image illustrates nicely what we are finding during our surveys: at first glance the habitat looks run down, trash-filled and hardly worth a second look, but when you do take that second look you’ll be amazed at the sheer number and diversity of sensitive animals you can encounter here – indicative of far better habitat quality than first appearances might lead one to believe. Just today we saw several Spiny Softshell Turtles and their nests, various species of freshwater mussels, as well as warblers and shorebirds that use the riparian habitat as a migratory corridor. Project Wild America intends to open people’s eyes to the intricate natural beauty that surrounds us wherever we are, much like the Meet Your Neighbours global biodiversity project does, so why not combine the two. Hope you like our brick, our blob, and all they represent. Get outside and make sure to always take that second look!

Magnificent Bryozoan (Pectinatella magnifica)