Project Description

The northern staghorn bryozoan (Heteropora pacifica) may look similar to warm water coral due to high levels of calcification and a branching structure, but they are unrelated.   The individual zooids that make up this colony can be seen in the accompanying photo with their crown of tentacles extending into the water for feeding.  This colony is usually yellow in colour and the branches have rounded tips.  The colony may grow to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, and 18 inches (45 cm) across.  The northern staghorn bryozoan has a range from northern Alaska to southern California.