Definitions for ectoprocta
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ectoprocta
Ectoprocta, phylum Ectoprocta(noun)
coextensive with or a subphylum of Bryozoa
an order of Bryozoa in which the anus lies outside the circle of tentacles
The Bryozoa, also known as Polyzoa, Ectoprocta or commonly as moss animals, are a phylum of aquatic invertebrate animals. Typically about 0.5 millimetres long, they are filter feeders that sieve food particles out of the water using a retractable lophophore, a "crown" of tentacles lined with cilia. Most marine species live in tropical waters, but a few occur in oceanic trenches, and others are found in polar waters. One class lives only in a variety of freshwater environments, and a few members of a mostly marine class prefer brackish water. Over 4,000 living species are known. One genus is solitary and the rest colonial. The phylum was originally called "Polyzoa", but this term was superseded by "Bryozoa" in 1831. Another group of animals discovered subsequently, whose filtering mechanism looked similar, was also included in "Bryozoa" until 1869, when the two groups were noted to be very different internally. The more recently discovered group was given the name Entoprocta, while the original "Bryozoa" were called "Ectoprocta". However, "Bryozoa" has remained the more widely used term for the latter group.
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