Celleporella hyalina (Linnaeus, 1767)
This encrusting bryozoan usually has a distinctive glistening appearance in life. It can be found from Alaska to California, and possibly as far south as the Galapagos Islands. It has also been reported from both the eastern (Canada to Maine) and western (Arctic to Bay of Biscay) Atlantic Ocean. This species is also known as Miocene fossils.
The scanning electron microscope (SEM) reveals the beauty and complexity of this organism. Preserved specimens are treated with household bleach to remove organic matter, leaving only the calcified exoskeleton.
The first photo shows the whole colony, collected from the docks at Pier 39. The second photo shows details of the structure, including female (f), male (m), and dwarf (d) zooids, and ovicells (o) for brooding larvae.
Photos by Vic Smith