Small colonial animals with a curved ridge bearing tentacles (the lophophore) which set up currents for feeding and respiration. The vast majority of the phylum (the Ectoprocta) have an external calcareous skeleton.
subphylum ECTOPROCTA (Ordovician to Present)
The skeleton may be encrusting (for example on a molluscan or brachiopod shell), branching (like a small coral), fan-shaped or nodular. Some ectoprocts contribute to reef formation. They are mostly sessile, usually on the sea floor, but some can be attached to floating seaweeds, and a few are borers.
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