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Xares Jamine Cuales

on 23 April 2014

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Ctenophores is a phylum of invertebrates that live in the marine world. Ctenophores a.k.a "comb jellies" resemble jellyfish, but they are a distinct type of animal, they don't posses stinging cells, and they have rows of cillia along their body used for locomotion. The cilia in each row are arranged in a way that creates a layer of combs, also known as comb plates, or ctenes,a Greek word meaning "comb bearer".

The life cycle of comb-jellies are fairly simple. Most ctenophores are hermaphrodites and are able to release both male and female gametes. Although this method is not the most efficient, the comb-jellies in turn release them constantly everyday to increase the chances of having their gametes fertilize. Once eggs and sperm find each other, the embryo develops into a larva and then develops into mini-adults in 24 hours.
Different types of Ctenophores
As of today, there are 90 known species of Ctenophores but there are only few familiar ones and are usually the ones that live near ocean shores where it is almost visible to the human eye:
sea walnuts
sea gooseberries
cat's eyes
Role in the ecosystem.
More facts...
Scientists have been assuming all this time that the ancestor of all living animals resembled sponges but they discovered that the comb jellies emerged way before the sponges and that they were the first branch of animals that descended from an ancestor that evolved before sponges.
As fragile as they may look, comb-jellies are very carnivorous. Different Ctenophores have different hunting styles. Unlike jellyfish, the comb jellies do not have cnidae ( stinging tentacles) that's why they have to come up with a whole different strategy when it comes to catching prey.
Most Ctenophores, not all of them, have lobes that engulf their prey or a really huge mouth-like structure that swallows their food whole. Inside their mouths/ lobes, they have small cilia that act as teeth, pulling food apart, which also direct the food into the comb jelly's gut.
Comb jellies hunt, plankton, zooplankton such as fish eggs, copepods, amphipods, and larvae. Some eat jellyfish, salps, and other ctenophores.

Sea Gooseberries
(Pleurobrachia bachei)
The sea gooseberries are commonly found near the Pacific ocean.Sea gooseberries are elliptical in shape with two long tentacles protruding from each side. It has a very unique way of capturing and eating its prey. The gooseberries uses the two long tentacles to catch a prey and when it catches it, it spins it's self around and reels the tentacles inside its mouth along with prey then lets go of it's tentacles again and wait for another prey to fall into its trap.
One of the characteristics of Lobates are the light-scattering produced by beating of the eight rows of the cilia rowed at the sides of the lobate, which appears as a changing rainbow of colors running down the comb rows. Many people assume that they are seeing bioluminescence when they see this rainbow-effect, but really this is simple light diffraction or scattering of light caused by the moving cilia.
How they eat
on shore
real gooseberries
balance marine ecosystem by preventing an over abundance of cope pods from eating all the phytoplankton
adds more diversity to the ecosystem.
on the other hand, when the western Atlantic ctenophore
Mnemiopsis leydei
was accidentally introduced into the sea of Azov and black sea it caused a huge imbalance because it lead to a sharp drops in fish catches by eating both fish larvae and small crustaceans that would otherwise feed the adult fish.
populations in those areas were eventually brought under control by the accidental introduction of the
eating north american ctenophore
Boroe ovata.

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Http://www.ncsu.edu/ (n.d.). Ctenophora. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://www.ncsu.edu/project/bio402_315/cnidaria/Ctenophores.html
(n.d.). Science News.

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Cobb, M. (2013, February 28). Beautiful, brutal ctenophores « Why Evolution Is True. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/beautiful-brutal-ctenophores

Collins, A., & Ocean Portal Team; (2013). Jellyfish and Comb Jellies | Smithsonian Ocean Portal. Retrieved from http://ocean.si.edu/jellyfish-and-comb-jellies
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