If you saw my previous post; I am stuck looking at billions of sargassum leaves on a beach – and Bryozoa covering almost all of them. See here.
So I started poking in the water in hope of catching some fresh macroalgae to show up.. and after some adventures – did get some on my hand (its thunderstorm kind of evening here).
This should remind you; how hard it is for little things to live in these coastal areas. And they don’t just live; they thrive..
After some trying, I finally got some live Membranipora – now the challenge of mounting this live under a foldscope. But I did not want you all to wait to see this incredible colonial animal.
If you watch the video carefully; at 40 sec you can actually see a prey being pulled inwards to the crown. So, possibly they do generate a hydrodynamic flow (vortices catching passing by food); and if that is true – the regular spacing would make for a very interesting hydrodynamic structure – a packed array of vortices. We have studied such a structure in the past in pitiria miniata; so maybe we could explain if they have a “optimal” spacing – or what factors result in a specific spacing structure for a given species. It’s time to do some flowtrace 🙂