Coelenterates are one of the oldest living creatures on Earth. They appeared at a time when life was just emerging on the planet. Now they have acquired a variety of forms.
For people, coelenterates are of great importance – building materials are extracted from dead calcareous parts of corals. Certain types of coral are used for jewelry. Coral reefs serve as a refuge for fish and often become a true work of art, which divers go down to see.
The most beautiful and unusual representatives of radial animals are jellyfish. They amaze not only with their appearance, but also with their size. The article presents the 10 most interesting facts about coelenterates.
10. There are two modern types: cnidarians and ctenophores.
Multicellular animals are divided into two modern types: cnidarians and ctenophores.. Only sea creatures are classified as cnidarians. Their characteristic is the presence of prickly cells, hence their name. They are also called cnidarians. To date, about 11,000 species have been found.
Ctenophores also include marine life, but their feature is the presence of cilia or a special comb. These two types of animals are very similar.
9. One of the oldest living beings on earth
Anyone who studies the history of life on Earth knows for sure that coelenterates are one of the oldest animals on our planet. Evolution on Earth began with the appearance of the first living being, it happened almost 4 billion years ago and continues to this day.
Scientists were able to prove that coelenterates lived in the Precambrian. Little is known about the Cryptozoic period, but it was then that the first signs of life appeared and this period means a lot to evolution as a whole.
8. Critter Radial Symmetry
The location of organ systems and body parts in all living organisms is different. In coelenterates, the radial system. It has a certain geometric order. The main elements are the center, the line and the plane. This is typical of marine inhabitants, since the reaction of the body is the same everywhere due to the same habitat.
The symmetry of the coelenterates can differ depending on the angle of the animal. Thus, it is possible to define a symmetry with 4, 6, 8 beams.
7. No specialized respiratory, circulatory, excretory organs
The body of intestinal animals resembles a sac consisting of an inner layer and an outer layer. Between them is connective tissue. The endoderm forms the intestinal cavity, which connects to a single opening. This is all that can be said about the structure of this animal.
Coelenterates have no specialized organs and the single opening performs both oral and anal functions. They also lack circulation and shedding.
6. Mechanism of asexual and sexual reproduction
Coelenterates have a predominantly asexual reproductive mechanism – budding.. But they can also reproduce sexually, this most often happens in the fall.. Intestinal animals can alternate the mechanism of reproduction: one generation uses budding, the other – sexual reproduction.
Polyps give rise not only to the next generation of polyps, but also to jellyfish, which in turn leave their offspring using the sexual mechanism.
5. The tentacles of the furrowed anemone are 1.5 m in diameter
A species of coelenterates was able to break the record for the diameter of the tentacles. The tentacles of the furrowed anemone, writhing like a snake, reach a diameter of 1.5 meters. By the way, this species gets along well in aquariums. For these purposes, they can be delivered safely even from the most remote seas.
You can see it in the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean. This sea animal is consumed in the southwest of Spain, where it is called “small sea nettledue to disgusting properties in the cooking process.
4. Hydras are considered immortal
Hydra is an amazing little creature that has gained popularity due to its unusual property. If you cut the hydra into several parts, these parts turn into new living things. That’s why they call it immortal.. Whole organism can be restored from small separate body parts (less than 1/100 volume), tentacle parts and also cell suspension. Such a phenomenon in science is called biological immortality.
Simply put, these animals do not die of old age, but can only die from an external factor. Due to the fact that the creature can still be killed, the Hydra cannot be said to have immortality.
3. Corals need sun
Anyone who has dived or just watched programs about the unique underwater world must have noticed unusual corals. They make a real fairy tale from the depths of the sea. Coral reefs thrive best at a depth of up to 50 meters, as sunlight is vital for them, so the water should be clear.. Despite the fact that a ray of sunlight can penetrate up to 180 meters deep, corals do not grow well there.
It is the most diverse ecosystem on the planet, covering only 0.1% of the surface of the world’s oceans. The most important physiological and biochemical processes are associated with photosynthesis, which is why they are so developed in shallow water.
2. Zoantaria Palythoa – the most dangerous coral
Corals contain palytoxin, one of the most toxic substances found in nature. Palitoxin is produced due to the symbiosis of zoanatry with dinoflagellate microalgae. Many living beings that feed on this type of coelenterates or are in symbiosis with them can also accumulate this dangerous substance.
The Aborigines of the island of Tahiti have been using coral for the preparation of poisonous and deadly weapons since Antiquity. Palitoxin was only first discovered in 1971, despite the fact that corals have been around for thousands of years.. This substance is also the most complex chemical compound in nature. It is toxic to all warm-blooded animals, especially rats, monkeys, rabbits and humans. Nature’s Strongest Non-Protein Poison.
1. Cyanea capillata – the largest representative of the group
This jellyfish has several names: arctic cyanoea, cyanoea capillata, hairy Where Lion’s manebut they all refer to the largest representative of the intestinal group. The tentacles reach a length of almost 40 meters, the diameter of the dome reaches 2.5 meters. These parameters make arctic cyanide the longest animal on the planet..
Cyanide capillata has several species, but the exact number is still not known and scientists are actively arguing. Its size can be compared to that of the blue whale, which is considered the longest creature on the planet. Its length can reach 30 meters, so it is very fair that it is the cyanide capillata that claims to be the longest animal.
She lives in cold waters and can be found on the coasts of Australia, but their maximum number lives in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It reaches its maximum length in the Arctic, in warm waters its growth does not exceed the average.