Lace corals are not true corals. They are the skeletons of a different group of tiny animals called bryozoans. Bryozoa means “moss animal”. Bryozoans come in many different forms. They are made up of tiny individuals called zooids, each surrounded by a hard, perforated wall. Tentacles can be protruded through these tiny holes so as to catch food.
Lace coral or Bryozoan
Looking like corals but unrelated these are colonies of tiny animals each about a millimeter long and enclosed in a hard, perforated wall. Each zooid can protrude a crown of feeding tentacles through a hole in its wall. The different species take on many different forms such as discs or lacy fans and are often attached to marine plants. They reproduce by budding as well as by sexual means and they often grow and cover surfaces very quickly.
These are the hard skeletons of lace corals that were living on the stems of wireweed (Amphibolus).
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