Probably a domestic hybrid of a mallard.
If your duck has large patches of white where you didn’t expect it, think domestic duck.
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), which have the identifiable green head in the wild, are only 1 of 2 species of ducks that have been domesticated. So it would be no surprise if a strange looking mallard was in fact, ...
Appears to be a ciliate protist called Vorticella.
Image source: Wikimedia (Author: Frank fox, 2010)
Vorticella always stood out to me because of their long, narrow stalk they use for anchoring with ciliate-lined bell-shaped oral end.
Image source: MicrobeWiki (originally from Haw River Program)
Fun fact from Wikipedia:
The stalk is made up of the ...
I'm converting my numerous comments into an "answer" -- I don't currently know the exact species, but I can at least explain some of my thoughts more completely.
Your specimen looks a lot like Gonatista grisea, a tree mantis that mimics a lichen -- as you mention in your post. However, G. grisea, is native to the southeastern USA. I could find no ...
I think it's likely a mallard hybrid. These sites have examples of crosses between mallards and domestic ducks (and others as well):
There isn't any specific ...
That hoverfly was probably feeding on red pollen from flowers. Many types of flowers have red pollen:
They were scientifically proven to eat pollen and nectar as early as 1883, when Muller disected the flies up to study their crop and insides.
Entomology Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research,
Private Bag, Auckland, New Zealand
These are, as stated in @kmm's well-received answer from 2 years ago, osseous components of a turtle's carapace, or upper shell. More specifically, these bones are called pleurals and consist of the turtle's ribs surrounded by "fused dermal tissue" [Wikipedia]. From Wyneken (2001):
Each rib head is aligned with the junction of two vertebral ...
A coworker of mine was able to identify the specimen as a Lightbulb Tunicate, Clavelina huntsmani. The distinctive "lightbulb filaments" that give the species its name can be clearly seen in the pictures I posted:
So it was indeed an ascidian.