Phylactolaemate bryozoans appear to be indiscriminate in the materials they eat, rejecting only particles that are too bulky or active. Ingested materials are reported to include a variety of plankton and detritus. Retention time in the gut varies with the rate of ingestion, which depends on the concentration of suspended particles in the water. During active feeding many of the living organisms taken into the gut emerge from the anus still alive. Studies have shown ingested bacteria to be an important source of nutrition, and it is possible that many ingested particles are simply carriers of bacterial food.
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