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Brief Summary

“Ctenophores have been described as the most beautiful, delicate, seemingly innocent yet most voracious, sinister and destructive of plankton organisms.” (Mianzan et al., 2009)

Ctenophores are gelatinous marine animals, similar in many ways to jellyfish but lack stinging cnidae, and movement is via the coordinated beating of cilia (“combs”) instead of muscular contractions.  As of 2008, about 150 species had been described.  They occur throughout the ocean, at all depths and are mostly planktonic, though a few are benthic.  Comb jellies are efficient predators, consuming zooplankton such as fish eggs, copepods, amphipods, and larvae.  Some eat jellyfish, salps, and other ctenophores.  They range in size from a few millimeters to 2 m long, and most are transparent and bioluminescent.

(Ruppert et al., 2004; Mianzan et al., 2009)

Author(s): Soulanille, Elaine
Rights holder(s): Soulanille, Elaine



Ctenophores occur in all oceans and all depths. Most species are planktonic, so live within the water column, but the platyctenids are benthic and attach to the surfaces of sessile organisms. (Unlike most ctenophores, which are transparent, the platyctenids are pigmented in camouflaging patterns.)

(Ruppert et al., 2004)

Author(s): Soulanille, Elaine
Rights holder(s): Soulanille, Elaine

Trophic Strategy

All ctenophores are carnivores (Mianzan et al., 2009).

Author(s): Soulanille, Elaine
Rights holder(s): Soulanille, Elaine


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