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unidentified Entoprocta

Maria Russo Mafra Machado (2014)



Fact Sheet




Life History & Behaviour

Fossil Record


Reproduction and Development

Anatomy & Physiology


Transport, Excretion, Nervous System

Evolution & Systematics


Diversification and Classification

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


The Entoprocta (= Kamptozoa) comprise a phylum of around 200 currently known species, solitary family (Loxosomatidae)  and colonial (families Loxokalypodidae, Pedicellinidae and Barentsiidae) sessile animals, with only two species in freshwater habitat. As been one of the most recent groups of the Animal kingdom the phylogenetic position of the group still unclear and controversial. These organisms apparently reminds cnidarian hydroids and bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa), with a body comprising a calix with ciliated tentacles and a thin stalk that elongates until a dilated structure on the base (or stolon in colonial species). They are usually very small and always sessile suspension feeders and can be found on hard substrates such as rocks, pebbles, corals, shells, and algae or commensals in sponges, polychaetes, and sipunculans. Entoprocts demonstrate a variety of reproductive modes and behaviors, including asexual clonal reproduction, as well as hermaphroditic and dioecious sexual reproduction. 
In the particular case of the animal found on Heron Island coral reef, the most particular characteristic was the abnormal size when compared to other Entoproctas individuals. Due to difficult on differentiate on specie level, it was possible to assume that this organism probably is a member of the Pedicellinidae family, due to its colonial habits and stalk not differentiated into node