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All cnidarians show the presence of two membrane layers in the body that are derived from the endoderm and ectoderm of the embryo. The outer layer (from ectoderm) is called the epidermis    and lines the outside of the animal, whereas the inner layer (from endoderm) is called the gastrodermis    and lines the digestive cavity. Between these two membrane layers is a non-living, jelly-like mesoglea    connective layer. In terms of cellular complexity, cnidarians show the presence of differentiated cell types in each tissue layer, such as nerve cells, contractile epithelial cells, enzyme-secreting cells, and nutrient-absorbing cells, as well as the presence of intercellular connections. However, the development of organs or organ systems is not advanced in this phylum.

The nervous system is primitive, with nerve cells scattered across the body. This nerve net may show the presence of groups of cells in the form of nerve plexi (singular plexus) or nerve cords. The nerve cells show mixed characteristics of motor as well as sensory neurons. The predominant signaling molecules in these primitive nervous systems are chemical peptides, which perform both excitatory and inhibitory functions. Despite the simplicity of the nervous system, it coordinates the movement of tentacles, the drawing of captured prey to the mouth, the digestion of food, and the expulsion of waste.

The cnidarians perform extracellular digestion    in which the food is taken into the gastrovascular cavity, enzymes are secreted into the cavity, and the cells lining the cavity absorb nutrients. The gastrovascular cavity    has only one opening that serves as both a mouth and an anus, which is termed an incomplete digestive system. Cnidarian cells exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide by diffusion between cells in the epidermis with water in the environment, and between cells in the gastrodermis with water in the gastrovascular cavity. The lack of a circulatory system to move dissolved gases limits the thickness of the body wall and necessitates a non-living mesoglea between the layers. There is no excretory system or organs, and nitrogenous wastes simply diffuse from the cells into the water outside the animal or in the gastrovascular cavity. There is also no circulatory system, so nutrients must move from the cells that absorb them in the lining of the gastrovascular cavity through the mesoglea to other cells.

The phylum Cnidaria contains about 10,000 described species divided into four classes: Anthozoa, Scyphozoa, Cubozoa, and Hydrozoa. The anthozoans, the sea anemones and corals, are all sessile species, whereas the scyphozoans (jellyfish) and cubozoans (box jellies) are swimming forms. The hydrozoans contain sessile forms and swimming colonial forms like the Portuguese Man O’ War.

Class anthozoa

The class Anthozoa includes all cnidarians that exhibit a polyp body plan only; in other words, there is no medusa stage within their life cycle. Examples include sea anemones ( [link] ), sea pens, and corals, with an estimated number of 6,100 described species. Sea anemones are usually brightly colored and can attain a size of 1.8 to 10 cm in diameter. These animals are usually cylindrical in shape and are attached to a substrate. A mouth opening is surrounded by tentacles bearing cnidocytes.

Questions & Answers

What contribute to evolution of eukaryotes
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any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds which have large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.
Anirban
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separation of the DNA to produce new daughter cell. mostly in the form of meiosis
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it is simply the process by which plants get there food from the sun through the use of chlorophyll
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O positive cause it is a general donor
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2 Positive water potential is placed on the left side of the tube by increasing Ψp such that the water level rises on the right side. Could you equalize the water level on each side of the tube by adding solute, and if so, how?
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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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