Freshwater and Marine Ectoprocts or Bryozoans: Ectoprocta
Behavior And Reproduction
The life cycle of ectoprocts includes sexual (SEK-shu-uhl) and asexual (ay-SEK-shu-uhl) reproduction. Sexual reproduction involves males and females producing sperm and eggs. In some groups of ectoprocts, each zooid is a hermaphrodite (her-MAE-fro-dait). Some hermaphrodites have the reproductive organs of both males and females at the same time, while others produce eggs or sperm at different times of their life. Some ectoproct colonies have zooids that do nothing else but produce eggs and sperm. Sperm is released into the water to fertilize eggs that are attached in some way to parts of the colony. In some groups the fertilized eggs develop in special sacs or inside the body cavities of feeding zooids. The newly hatched larvae (LAR-vee) are independent at first. They swim for several hours before they settle and attach to a solid object.
Asexual reproduction does not require males or females. Instead, ectoprocts reproduce by budding or breaking off parts of the colony. Each broken piece is capable of developing into a new colony. In some species, these pieces are equipped with special flotation devices that help them to float away and settle in new habitats. Some ectoprocts can only form new colonies by budding.
- Freshwater and Marine Ectoprocts or Bryozoans: Ectoprocta - Sea Mat (electra Pilosa): Species Account
- Freshwater and Marine Ectoprocts or Bryozoans: Ectoprocta - Physical Characteristics
- Other Free Encyclopedias
Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesFreshwater 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