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An (almost) invisible neighborhood

Half-moon-shaped windows and hydraulic doors that are opened when water enters through small holes. This is the house built and inhabited by the tiny marine invertebrate Fenestrulina commensalis—which does not appear in the photo—using its tentacles to peer outside in search of prey. The microscopic organism has been found just once, in Espírito Santo State 10 years ago, attached like tiles to the tubes of a unique species of soft coral. This does not necessarily mean that it is no longer there, or in other places: “No one looks for bryozoans,” laments biologist Leandro Vieira, who has dedicated himself to finding and describing this marine fauna.

Image submitted by Leandro Vieira, a professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco

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