noun \ˌbrī-ə-ˈzō-ən\

Definition of BRYOZOAN

:  any of a phylum (Bryozoa) of aquatic mostly marine invertebrate animals that reproduce by budding and usually form permanently attached branched or mossy colonies
bryozoan adjective

Origin of BRYOZOAN

New Latin Bryozoa, from Greek bryon + New Latin -zoa
First Known Use: circa 1864


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Aquatic invertebrate of the phylum Bryozoa (“moss animals”), members (called zooids) of which form colonies. Each zooid is a complete and fully organized animal. Species range in size from a one-zooid “colony” small enough (less than 0.04 in., or 1 mm, long) to live between sand particles to colonies that hang in clumps or chains as much as a 1.6 ft (0.5 m) across. The texture of colonies varies from soft and gelatinous to hard with calcium-containing skeletons. Freshwater bryozoans attach primarily to leaves, stems, and tree roots in shallow water. Marine bryozoans have a wide range of habitats, from coastal areas to great ocean depths, but are most common just below the tidemarks. Bryozoans feed by capturing plankton with their tentacles.


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