Wednesday, August 26, 2009

City of glass

This delicate beauty showed up in my aquarium. It probably hitchhiked on a piece of seaweed I brought home from the White Rock beach.

Glass animal

It's about an inch long, fully stretched out. I can't find it in my books nor on the web, but I think it is possibly some variety of hydroid, a Plumularia, maybe.

A hydroid is a community. Each circle of tentacles belongs to a separate animal. Looking at this one closely, I can distinguish several structures: segmented "feather" stalks with rows of zooids along the side, each brandishing its little spray of tentacles; a wrapped stem beneath, a few individuals consisting of a stem and a funnel shape, topped with tentacles.


I found tons of interesting photos of Cnidaria (the hydroids' home phylum) on Google; what variety there is in this obscure "rock fuzz"!

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