What is a lophophore?
A lophophore is a feeding mechanism found in some aquatic organisms.
One member of this group are hard shelled bivalves. These have a lophophore, a crown of tentacles whose cilia create a water current that enables them to filter food particles out of the water.
Other types have a lophophore that is a ring of tentacles mounted on a single, retracted stalk.
Many fish will not eat these, as they are distasteful. There are about 300 species and the smallest is about 1mm long and lives in gravel and sand.
These have become fewer and fewer and are being pushed out by clams and oysters.
These feeding mechanisms are also seen in these "moss animals" or aquatic invertebrates.