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Phylum Cnidaria. Hydra, jellyfish, coral, & sea anemones. Phylum Cnidaria. Examples? Sea anemones Corals Sea Pen Sea Fan Sea Plume Hydra Jelly fish Portuguese Man o’ War Box Jelly Fish. I. Body Structure. A. Polymorphism = more than one body form 1. Polyp 2. Medusa.

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phylum cnidaria

Phylum Cnidaria

Hydra, jellyfish, coral, & sea anemones

phylum cnidaria2
Phylum Cnidaria


  • Sea anemones
  • Corals
  • Sea Pen
  • Sea Fan
  • Sea Plume
  • Hydra
  • Jelly fish
  • Portuguese Man o’ War
  • Box Jelly Fish
i body structure
I. Body Structure

A. Polymorphism =

more than one body form

1. Polyp

2. Medusa

b polyp
B. Polyp
  • Tube with tentacles

around the mouth

  • Sessile

Coral polyp

c medusa
C. Medusa
  • Umbrella shape
  • Tentacles around mouth
  • Motile, Free-swimming
d tentacles
D. Tentacles
  • Have nematocysts



  • Coiled thread discharges

like a harpoon

  • Contains neurotoxin
  • Paralyzes prey

Discharged nematocyst

ii level of organization
II. Level of Organization

A. Tissue

B. No organs

iii symmetry
III. Symmetry


Compass jellyfish

iv habitat
IV. Habitat

A. Aquatic

1. Most Marine

2. Few fresh-water

v feeding
V. Feeding

A. Carnivores


B. Process of feeding

1. Tentacles sting prey with


2. Tentacles grab prey

3. Prey pulled into mouth

Lion’s mane eats another jelly

process of feeding
Process of feeding

4. Prey stuffed into gastro-vascular cavity (GVC)*

5. GVC makes enzymes, extra-cellular digestion

6. Undigested food back out mouth

*incomplete digestive tract (no anus)

vi respiration
VI. Respiration
  • Via diffusion
  • Body is two cell layers


viii excretion
VIII. Excretion
  • Via diffusion
ix response
IX. Response
  • No cephalization or nervous system
  • Nerve net around mouth
ix response22
IX. Response

C. Sensory cells

1. Chemoreceptors (chemicals)

2. Thigmoreceptors (touch)

3. Photoreceptors (light)

Ocelli (eyespots)

4. Statocysts (balance)

x locomotion
X. Locomotion
  • Medusa motile, free-swimming
  • Polyps sessile


1. Hydra tumbles on tentacles

2. Sea anemones glide on pedal disc

xi reproduction
XI. Reproduction

1. Asexual

budding from polyps or medusae

2. Sexual

a. Medusae release sperm & eggs

b. Some monoecious, some dioecious

c. Larvae free-swimming

xii ecological role
XII. Ecological Role
  • Predators and prey
  • Neurotoxins in medical research
  • Coral – jewelry, building, reefs (surfing!)
  • Coral reefs - habitat for many

-great biodiversity

- protect coastline

E. Symbiosis with other organisms

hydra eating daphnia
Hydra eating Daphnia
  • Hydra eats Daphnia

Red-eyed medusa


Lion’s mane


Purple lion’s mane

portuguese man 0 war
Portuguese Man 0’ War

Tentacles of Physalia physalis