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Ropalonaria large 010213.jpg
Ropalonaria venosa, an etching of an Ordovician ctenostome bryozoan on a strophomenid brachiopod valve.[1]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Lophophorata
Phylum: Bryozoa
Class: Gymnolaemata
Order: Ctenostomata

See text

The Ctenostomata are an order of bryozoans in the class Gymnolaemata. The great majority of ctenostome species are marine, although Paludicella inhabits freshwater. They are distinguished from their close relatives, the cheilostomes, by their lack of a calcified exoskeleton. Instead, the exoskeleton is chitinous, gelatinous, or composed only of a soft membrane, and always lacks an operculum. Colonies of ctenostomes are often composed of elongated, branch-like stolons, although more compact forms also exist.


  1. ^ Pohowsky, R.A. (1978). "The boring ctenostomate bryozoa: taxonomy and paleobiology based on cavities in calcareous substrata". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 73: 192p. 

Barnes, Robert D. (1982). Invertebrate Zoology. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. p. 910. ISBN 0-03-056747-5.