Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Animal Grass

There are many strange critters that live beneath the waves. In 2007 a colonial organism that looks like seaweed but is actually an animal wreaked havoc on the Outer Banks fishing industry by fouling pound nets. I am not a commercial fisherman, and do not remember hearing about this problem in 2007, but when I read about it recently I was intrigued.

The animal is called sauerkraut bryozoan or animal grass (zoobotryon verticillatum). It is a tiny water animal that forms colonies in warm and tropical waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The animal is a filter-feeder, and has tentacles and thin body walls made mostly of water. It also has a gizzard, but not a complicated nervous system.

Thankfully, this invasive species which does not infiltrate local waters regularly did not last long. To read more about animal grass and the impact it had on local fishing in 2007 click on the links below: 




If you have ever wondered how the street you live on or vacation on got its name, or are just curious about other street names, take a look at this month's Ocracoke Newsletter. We have compiled a list of every official street in Ocracoke village, along with one or more paragraphs explaining how they came to be named. You can read the Newsletter here

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