Cnidarian, or, Coelenterate, an animal of the phylum Cnidaria, or Coelenterata. The phylum includes the corals, hydras, jellyfish, Portuguese man-of-war, and sea anemones. Cnidarians are water-dwelling animals. The body is typically cylindrical or bell-shaped and has a single opening used for taking in food and excreting wastes. Arranged around the opening are tentacles armed with cnidocytes, cells used to sting prey and enemies. Some cnidarians live singly, others in large colonies.The cnidarian has tentacles armed with cnidocytes, cells used to sting prey and enemies.
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For an underwater tourist, whether in a wetsuit or in front of a TV, a major attraction is a coral reef, an amazing ecosystem inhabited by myriad colorful marine creatures. Unfortunately, coral reefs are in danger of disappearing unless immediate steps are taken to preserve this natural wonder. Take this quiz to learn more about what needs to be done.
How do coral polyps mere millimeters in length form the world's largest living structures? Will these giants of the sea last much longer if the present rate of destruction continues?