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Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa (hydroids; phylum Cnidaria) A class of multicellular, mainly marine animals in which the cells are derived from two layers, epidermis and gastrodermis (endodermis), separated by a gelatinous mesogloea. These enclose a continuous gastrovascular cavity (coelenteron), which communicates directly with the exterior by a single aperture (mouth) and is lined by a gastrodermis. The gastrodermis lacks nematocysts. Eggs and sperm are shed outside the animal and not into the gastrovascular cavity.

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Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa (hydroids; phylum Cnidaria) Class of multicellular, mainly marine animals with cells arranged in two layers, the epidermis and the gastrodermis (endodermis), separated by a gelatinous mesogloea. These enclose a continuous digestive cavity (coelenteron), which communicates directly with the exterior by a single aperture (mouth) and is lined by a gastrodermis. The gastrodermis lacks nematocysts. Hydrozoa are Lower Cambrian to Recent. See also MILLEPORINA; and STYLASTERINA.

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hydrozoa

hydrozoa Class of animals without backbones, all living in water, belonging to the phylum Coelenterata. They vary in shape and size from the large Portuguese man-of-war to the simple hydra.

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Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa See Cnidaria.

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Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa is a class within the phylum Cnidaria, which includes sea anemones, corals, and jellyfish. The vast majority are marine species, but freshwater hydrozoans are known, for example, Cordylophora lacustris and Craspedacusta sowerbyi.

Two main body forms exist in hydrozoans: a polypoid structure which is sessile, remaining in the same place, and a medusoid form which is free-swimming. The polyp consists of a stalklike structure that bears a number of tentacles surrounding a mouth. The medusa

KEY TERMS

Medusoid The generative bud of a sessile hydro-zoa that resembles a Medusas head.

Pelagic Refers to the open ocean.

Polyp Mature hydrozoa distinguished by a cylindrical body that has an oral opening surrounded by tentacles and an arboreal end that may be fixed in substrate.

Sessile Attached to a firm substrate.

is a bell-like structure, with the tentacles surrounding the mouth underneath. Some species are solitary, but the majority is colonial. In the latter, the colony arises from a single basal root, which rests on the substrate and from which individual polyps arise. Both colonial and individual species lack a hard outer skeleton.

A special feature among colonial species is the presence of individual polyps that perform separate roles. Some polyps are, for example, specialized for feeding (gastrozooids), while others are responsible for reproduction (gonozooids) or defense. While most colonial sessile species are small and feed by filtering zooplankton from the surrounding water currents, some of the medusoid forms are quite large and capable of feeding on small fish. Floating pelagic species such as Porpita and Velella, or the by-the-wind-sailor, as it is commonly known, resemble small jellyfish and may reach 1.5-2.5 in (4-6 cm) in diameter. These are colonial species made up of large numbers of gastrozooids and gonozooids; the body is modified into a flattened structure with a float on the upper surface to provide buoyancy. Some species, such as Velella have an additional small sail on the upper surface to catch the wind and assist further with dispersal.

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Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa

Hydrozoa (phylum Coelenterata, class Hydrozoa) are coelenterates that are closely related to the hydra ,sea anemones , corals, and jellyfish . Although a large majority of these species are common and widespread, they are often overlooked, as they are all small animals. The vast majority are marine species, but several freshwater hydrozoans have also been identified, for example, Cordylophora lacustris and Craspedacusta sowerbyi.

There is considerable variation in the structure and appearance of hydrozoans. All species, however, have a stalk-like arrangement known as a polyp, which bears a number of tentacles, as well as the mouth. In addition, two main types of hydrozoa exist: a polypoid structure which is sessile, remaining in the same place, and a medusoid form which is free-swimming. Many polypoid hydrozoans, however, may have a medusoid larval phase which eventually settles onto some substrate. Some species are solitary, but the majority are colonial. In the latter, the colony arises from a single basal root which rests on the substrate and from which individual polyps arise. Both colonial and individual species lack a hard outer skeleton.

A special feature among colonial species is the presence of individual polyps that fulfil separate roles. Some polyps are, for example, specialized for feeding (gastrozooids), while others are responsible for reproduction (gonozooids) or defense. While most colonial sessile species are small and feed by filtering zooplankton from the surrounding water currents , some of the medusoid forms are quite large and capable of feeding on small fish . Floating pelagic species such as Porpita and Velella, which resemble small jellyfish, may reach 1.5-2.5 in (4-6 cm) in diameter. These are colonial species made up of large numbers of gastrozooids and gonozooids; the body is modified into a flattened structure with a float on the upper surface to provide buoyancy. Some species, such as Velella, or the by-the-wind-sailor, as it is commonly known, have an additional small "sail" on the upper surface to catch the wind and assist further with dispersal.

KEY TERMS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Medusoid

—The generative bud of a sessile hydrozoa that resembles a Medusa's head.

Pelagic

—Refers to the open ocean.

Polyp

—Mature hydrozoa distinguished by a cylindrical body that has an oral opening surrounded by tentacles and an arboreal end that may be fixed in substrate.

Sessile

—Unable to move about.

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