What makes a ctenophore a ctenophore?
Ctenophora, also known as comb jellies, are a phylum of marine invertebrates that are closely related to cnidarians (jellyfish, sea anemones, corals, and hydrozoans). However, unlike cnidarians, ctenophores do not have stinging cells, but instead use sticky cells, called colloblasts, to capture their prey. Ctenophores have a distinctive body plan, with a gelatinous body that is often transparent and displays iridescent colors when it moves. The body is covered in eight rows of comb-like structures, called ctenes, which are used for propulsion. Ctenophores feed on small planktonic animals and play an important role in marine food webs as predators.
Total discovered species: 100-150+ species
Distribution: Marine only; open-ocean
Commonly Associated Terms
Evolutionary History & Adaptation
Conservation and Threats
Chapter Advisors and Contributors
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MSc Insect Pest Management
MSc Aquatic Entomology
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