Taxonomy

Tennysonia stellata forms colonies that

  • consist of bifurcating branches that are rounded triangular in cross-section
  • grow to about 4cm, possibly larger
  • range in colour from pale rose tint to bright orange, the colour fading in dead specimens
  • have a skeleton made of calcium carbonate mineral - calcite

Like other bryozoans, T. stellata exhibits zooidal polymorphism, with the feeding zooids arranged in rows.

Look-alikes

Many morphological characteristics, such as the presence of kenozooids and gonozooid morphology, are shared with another bryozoan called Heteropora.

 However, Heteropora is placed in a different division - suborder Cerioporina. This demonstrates how similar morphologies have developed by convergent evolution in this group of bryozoans.