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Entoprocta(ĕn'təprŏk`tə), animal phylum consisting of small marine organisms living in shallow coastal waters. The entoprocts are either colonial or solitary. The body is vase-shaped, with the upper edge covered by ciliated tentacles that direct microscopic animals and debris into the U-shaped digestive tract. A stalk with an enlarged base attaches the organism to seaweed, other marine organisms, shells, or other material. Of the 60 or more known species, only one is found in freshwater. While in some species the sexes are separate, other species are hermaphroditic. Eggs and larvae develop in the ovary, and larvae are free-swimming before growing stalks and attaching. Pedicellina is a common marine colonial entoproct.
(or Kamptozoa), a phylum of invertebrate animals. Entoprocts are small, primarily colonial, animals (measuring from 1 mm to 1 cm) that lead a sessile way of life. The body consists of a calyx containing all the organs, which is attached by a flexible stalk to the substrate (in colonial forms, to the branching trunk of the colony—the stolon). The calyx is rimmed with a circlet of tentacles. The mouth and anus open on a recessed space (atrium) between the bases of the tentacles. There is no coelom. Most entoprocts are dioecious; some are hermaphroditic. In the recess between the tentacles, the female has a brood cavity, where the eggs are fertilized and develop to the stage of trochophore-like larva. Development is accompanied by metamorphosis. In addition to sexual reproduction, there is asexual reproduction by means of budding.
All entoprocts are marine, except for one freshwater species, Urnatella gracilis. Entoprocts feed on detritus and microscopic algae. They live in shallow waters, which are rich in algae, but some descend to a depth of up to 300 m. In the USSR, 16 species are found in the northern seas and two in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, one of which has found its way into the Caspian Sea.
REFERENCESRukovodstvo po zoologii, vol. 1. Edited by L. A. Zenkevich. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.
Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968. G. A. Kliuge