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Freshwater and Marine Ectoprocts or Bryozoans: Ectoprocta - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Sea Mat (electra Pilosa): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, ECTOPROCTS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

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Freshwater ectoprocts are found on every continent, including Antarctica. Marine species live in every ocean.

Freshwater species are found in shallow, still waters. They attach themselves to the sides or undersides of rocks, wood, plants, and trash. Marine ectoprocts live in shallow waters near the coastline to deep-sea bottoms at depths of 26,900 feet (8,200 meters). They are also found on the surfaces of solid objects, including rocks, seashells, seaweed, and wood.

Both freshwater and marine ectoprocts eat anything, as long as it is small. Most of their food is made up of tiny bits of plants and animals floating in the water and small, living organisms.

Freshwater ectoprocts are sometimes a problem when they attach themselves to the insides of water pipes and filters. They can block the flow of water to irrigate fields or prevent filters from removing particles and other organisms from drinking water. Some marine species produce chemicals that are used for medicine and other research purposes.

No species of ectoprocts is considered threatened or endangered.

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