astronomy-to-zoology: Hula Skirt Siphonophore (Physophora…

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astronomy-to-zoology:

Hula Skirt Siphonophore (Physophora hydrostatica)

…a species of deep sea siphonophore that is widespread in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Like all siphonophores P.hydrostatica is not a single animal but a colony of hundreds of small animals, known as zooids, that are working together to function. The top portion of the colony holds the swimming bells which allow the colony to move. It also contains float bells which allow the colony float by changing the amount of gas in these bells, the float bell has a pore at the bottom that emits gas and can be refilled with secretions from a gland.

The bottom of the colony holds the orange ‘hula skirt’ which is full of stinging tentacles which are used to dispatch prey via a painful sting. The colony also has a long thread at the base which holds all the individuals that do specialized tasks.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Cnidaria-Hydrozoa-Siphonophorae-Physonectae-Physophoridae-Physophora-hydrostatica

Image Source(s)

via the Lab Tumblr: http://genefish.tumblr.com/post/54685590676