Fossil invertebrate colony. Sectioned fossilized colony of bryozoans (Diplotrypa petropolitana). Bryozoans are aquatic animals that form colonies of interconnected, asexually-reproducing individuals (zooids). They may also reproduce sexually. The zooids are small (normally less than 1 millimetre across) but colonies can contain millions of them, reaching over a metre across. Bryozoans from the genus Diplotrypa date from the Ordovician period, about 505 to 438 million years ago. There are about 5000 bryozoan species alive today, mostly in marine habitats. They feed on microscopic plankton.
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