Q&A

What are the blobs that attach to underwater weeds in the lake?

By Jackie DavisJackie Davis

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The Question

I read about what appear to be blobs of Jell-O that attach to underwater weeds and tree branches in the lake. Are they some form of algae?

—Steve Reynolds

The Answer

It sounds like you’re talking about freshwater bryozoans (or “moss animals”). They’re tiny invertebrates that live in colonies and feed on algae, bacteria, and other microscopic particles in the lake. Collectively, they form a jiggly, slimy, gelatinous blob, often attached to submerged logs or twigs. Though there are about 4,000 species of bryozoa in the world, only 10 are found in Ontario. Worst Jell-O flavour ever.


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Jackie Davis