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Attached Brachiopods (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 1211

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Faunal Bed
Biotic Subclass Attached Fauna
Biotic Group Attached Brachiopods
Biotic Community Attached Laqueous
Attached Terebratalia
Attached Crania

Definition Areas dominated by brachiopods, a phylum of animals with two shells, a stalk-like peduncle, and a tentacular, ciliated feeding organ. Brachiopods resemble clams, but are not mollusks. In some species, the peduncle is used to attach the animal to hard substrate, or one of the valves is cemented to the substrate. In other species, the peduncle and the valves are adapted to burrowing in soft sediment (see Burrowing Brachiopods, below). Brachiopods may occur in very high densities in some areas and are common on the U.S. west coast. Certain species can be identified by the wide gape between their shells when they are feeding, but not all species exhibit this wide gape. Most Brachiopods feed on plankton or on detritus.