Phylum cnidaria more than just jellyfish
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Phylum Cnidaria : More than Just Jellyfish. Don’t Forget Sponges!. Phylum: Porifera Anatomy & Physiology: Osculum , Spongocoel ( asymetrical ) Archaeocytes , choanocytes , spicules Ecology: Filter feeders. Cnidarians have Cnidocytes.

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Phylum cnidaria more than just jellyfish

Phylum Cnidaria: More than Just Jellyfish

Don t forget sponges
Don’t Forget Sponges!

  • Phylum:

    • Porifera

  • Anatomy & Physiology:

    • Osculum, Spongocoel (asymetrical)

    • Archaeocytes, choanocytes, spicules

  • Ecology:

    • Filter feeders

Cnidarians have cnidocytes
Cnidarians have Cnidocytes

  • Cnidocytes are stinging cells that produce toxins and inject it into prey.

  • They are used to stun and capture prey.


Two major groups of cnidarians
Two Major Groups of Cnidarians



Box jellies

Sea anemones

True jellies

Sea Pens



Cnidarian life cycle
Cnidarian Life Cycle

  • Two main phases:

    • Polyp (stationary)

    • Medusa (mobile)

  • Some Cnidarian species have only a single phase. This is a general description.

Cnidarian anatomy
Cnidarian Anatomy

Cnidarian anatomy1
Cnidarian Anatomy

Sea anemones
Sea Anemones

  • Anemones spend most of their time attached to rock or coral, though they can move.

  • They are predators

Clownfish anemone
Clownfish & Anemone

  • One of the best examples of symbiosis in all of biology

  • What does each organism get from the other?


  • Brain coral shown at left

  • Corals are colonies of many tiny polyps.



Coral reefs
Coral Reefs

  • Corals CaCO3 holdfasts are what coral reefs are made of.

Box jellyfish deadliest venom
Box Jellyfish: Deadliest Venom?

  • Cnidocytes on the tentacles of box jellies may have killed more people than any other venom!

True jellies scyphozoa
True Jellies: Scyphozoa

Hydrozoa weird misfit cnidarians
Hydrozoa: Weird Misfit Cnidarians

Deadly Portugese-Man-O-War

  • Many sizes and shapes

  • Many variations on life cycle

  • Poorly defined group


In summary
In Summary

  • Cnidarians have stinging cells called cnidocytes.

  • The Cnidarian life cycle includes polyp and medusa stages.

  • Cnidaria includes a wide variety of species, including jellifish, anemones, and hard and soft corals.

  • They are all predators.