Clark found this weird piece of ..errr….uhhh…. well I really didn’t know what to call it for a few days. It feels hard like concrete but very light in weight and it’s about 2 inches long. I asked a lot of people and most thought it looked like a piece of worn coral or sedimentary rock… and it does… sort of. But it looks like it has worm holes, bits of shell and formed bubbles inside which seem fossilized or something so it was still a mystery.
Then…..Ta Da! Dr. Jose Leal, director of Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, knew the answer. A piece of BRYONZOAN COLONY. He said “This is actually a worn piece of a bryozoan colony; bryozoans are colonial animals unrelated to corals, but which form superficially similar calcium carbonate structures (read more on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryozoa).” I clicked the link to read more on BRYOZOA and it sounds similar to SEA PORK (a zooid colony) with a little calcium carbonate added (for flavor- HA!).
Here’s another picture of pieces of bryozoan colonies by my blog buddy Carla Barone (shelling Queen of Little Hickory) who took the cool video of a live WHELK. She found quite a few pieces!