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RTPI – Meet Your Neighbours: Freshwater Bryozoan

It’s true when they say that big things come in small packages. For the Magnificent Bryozoan (Pectinatella magnifica), it is a little organism that plays a big role in a rather large ecosystem. These colony dwellers are made up of tiny, singular zooids that work together to maintain the bryozoan as a whole. Each colony takes in an average of 8.8 ml of water per day while eating and digesting the harmful microbes that swim by. Though the blob they make up may look funny and feel even weirder these little organisms are our friends and the more of these friends we have around the safer our lives will be. Seems to be pretty simple logic, right? For not only do bryozoans clean our water but may even produce a chemical compound that can fight against cancerous cells. If you want to thank these little creatures for all they do, go to your local lake, stream, or river. Look around fallen trees or submerged rocks and you will be sure to find one of these friendly stratoblasts. Furthermore, you can enjoy the water the bryozoans worked so hard to clean!


The ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ global biodiversity project is a worldwide photographic initiative dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife on their own doorsteps (wherever on the planet this doorstep happens to be) – and enriching their lives in the process. The animals and plants found in our immediate vicinity are vital to people: they represent the first, and for some, the only contact with wild nature we have.