A Virtual Pond Dip

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Hydra (multicellular)


hydra.gif (3884 bytes)




Further details:
Introduction to hydra
Video clips of a hydra

Name (genus): Hydra

Size : 4 - 30 mm including tentacles

Where to find them : Attached to surfaces like water plant stems and the undersides of floating leaves.

Notes : The Hydra is a very distinctive creature with its tentacles. If a jar of pond water with some weed is left to stand for a while, the hydra - if present, may be seen by eye attached to the wall of the jar, or the vegetation. They are often pale brown or green. The underside of floating weed like duckweed is a particularly good place to find them.

Hydra have many fascinating features, one in particular is that they can reproduce asexually by budding where a smaller hydra grows off the body of the adult and eventually separates. The tentacles have stinging cells which they use to capture prey like small water fleas. They are a classic organism for biology students to study as they are a representative member of the Phylum Cnidaria. The cnidarians are the most primitive animal where the cells are organised into different layers.

Classification :
Kingdom - Animalia, Phylum - Cnidaria, class - Hydrozoa

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Published in Micscape Magazine February 2001.

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All images Wim van Egmond


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