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This interesting group of invertebrates includes many charismatic organisms such as hydras, sea fans, jellyfishes, sea anemones, corals, and the Portuguese man-of-war. Cnidarians all have some type of specialized stinging cell organelle.
Cnidarians' bodies typically take one of two forms: the polyp or the medusa. While the polyp form is adapted for a sedentary or sessile lifestyle, the medusa form is adapted for floating or free-swimming. Sea anemones and corals (class Anthoza) are all polyps. True jellyfishes (class Scyphozoa) are all medusae, though some have a polyp larval stage. Notably, some hydroids (class Hydrozoa) alternate between polyp and medusa forms throughout their lives.
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