Story: Marine animals without backbones

Lamp shell interior

Lamp shell interior

Lamp shells are brachiopods, an ancient group of animals that superficially resemble some shellfish. Their interior reveals their true identity – much of it is taken up with a heavily folded feeding organ called a lophophore, used to filter food particles out of water. Shown here is the lophophore of Neothyris lenticularis, New Zealand’s largest brachiopod.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10050221
Photograph by Helen Kettles

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How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, 'Marine animals without backbones - Lace corals and lamp shells', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 February 2024)

Story by Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006