Characteristics of Phylum Coelenterata(CNIDARIA)
1. Dipoblastic body with two layers of cells, outer layer called ectoderm or epidermis and the inner layer known as the endoderm or gastrodermis.
2. Phylum coelenterata characteristics is they have a single opening into the body which acts as both the mouth and anus which functions in taking food and expelling wastes.
3. Coelenterates contain body cavity known as the coelenteron, where the digestion of food occurs. The name coelenterata for these animals is coined due to this character.
4. Existance as tubular sessile polyp forms and swimming medusa forms is also phylum coelenterata characteristics.
5. Polyp bodies often contain exoskeleton and endoskeleton.
6. These skeletons are generally composed of minerals like calcium carbonate.
7. Medusae generally have only hydrostatic skeletons.
8. Coelenterates are generally carnivorous in nature, except some species, such as coral, that get some of their food from special symbionts living within them.
9. They lack such sensory organs like eyes.
10. They hunt food passively i.e., they just wave their tentacles and when prey does come in contact with the tentacles using special structures known as nematocysts either inject a toxin that paralyses and/or kills the prey, or entangles the prey.
11. Nematocyst is common in all coelenterates is phylum coelenterata characteristics and is one of major trait that distinguishes this phylum from the others. Also contains structures called spirocysts and ptychocysts.
12. The mouth lining of coelenterates are known as cnidae the phylum coelenterata characteristics, which is how this phylum is named currently.
13. All coelenterates are aquatic and mostly are marine in nature, found from the shallow water to the depths of the abyss. Some species of the class hydrozoans are found in freshwater ponds and lakes.
14. The phylum is divided in to 4 major classes namely, anthozoa, cubozoa, hydrozoa, and scyphozoan.