Mirror, September 1, 2017 – Slimy brain-like alien blobs found in Canadian lagoon – scientists unsure how they got there

What looks like one creature is actually hundreds of tiny ones – but finding them so far north is puzzling


Jeff ParsonsTech/Science reporter

  • 18:03, 1 SEP 2017
  • Updated18:34, 1 SEP 2017

by Taboola 

Scientists have discovered a colony of tiny creatures known as a bryozoan hiding in a lagoon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

The creatures have been around for millions of years and cluster together to resemble alien-like blobs. However, they are commonly found in warmer climates – particularly along the Mississippi river.

Made up of individual asexual organisms called zooids, the rare discovery was made by Celina Starnes, of the Stanley Park Ecology Society.

She pulled the brown, jelly-like substance from the water in order to examine it.

(Image: Vancouver Courier/Youtube)

(Image: Vancouver Courier/Youtube)

“They’re a colony of tiny organisms that like to hang out together,” explained her colleague Kathleen Stormont.

“They have a very ancient lineage that hasn’t changed for hundreds of thousands of years,” she told the Vancouver Courier.

“It’s kind of like three-day-old Jello — a bit firm but gelatinous.”

The creatures can only survive in waters warmer than around 15.5 degrees. But one explanation for finding a bryozoan in Canada could be to do with climate change warming the planet.

Ian Walker, a biology professor at the University of British Colombia, told National Geographic: “With warming climate, they might migrate somewhere farther north.

“I can only really speculate how they might have spread.”

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