Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description of Anthozoa

The Anthozoa is that group of coelenterates (Cnidaria) that contains the sea anemones and corals. Typically they are attached to a substrate, have a columnar body with an opening at the top, and arms radiate around the opening. The name means flower animals, a reference to the floral appearance of their perennial polyp stage. Food, mostly small plankton but some species can catch fish, is captured by nematocysts on the arm, and pushed through the opening to be digested inside the body. Unlike other cnidarians, anthozoans do not have a medusa stage in their development. Instead, they release sperm and eggs that form a planula, which attaches to some substrate on which the cnidarian grows. Some anthozoans can also reproduce asexually through budding. The gastrovascular cavity that the mouth opens into is subdivided by a number of radiating partitions, or mesenteries. The gonads are also located within the cavity walls. Some species harbour photosynthetic dinoflagellates or zooxanthellae, in a symbiotic relationship; the reef building corals known as hermatypic corals rely on this symbiotic relationship particularly. The zooxanthellae benefit by having access to nitrogenous waste and carbon dioxide produced by the host or , and the cnidarian gains products of photosynthesis and an increased to deposit calcium carbonate. The association created coral reef systems, entirely new and rich ecosystems, the evolution of which reveals the property of emergence - the result is not simply a sum of the parts. Anemones and certain species of coral live in isolation, however most corals form colonies of genetically identical polyps; these polyps closely resemble anemonies in structure, although are generally considerably smaller. Stony coral live in all parts of the underwater world, but corals with symbionts occur in shallow waters around tropical islands and coasts. They provide a rich source of food and provide physical protection for shores. Corals are threatened by increasing acidification of the oceans.
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David

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Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; radial symmetry

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© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

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Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual Dimorphism in color and externally visible gonad color. Females sometimes thicker because of ripe eggs
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Source: Fairbairn, 2013

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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
  • Opitz S (1996) Trophic interactions in Caribbean coral reefs. ICLARM Tech Rep 43, Manila, Philippines
  • R. T. Paine, Food webs: linkage, interaction strength and community infrastructure, J. Anim. Ecol. 49:667-685, from p. 670 (1980).
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© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

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Known prey organisms

Anthozoa (Chaetognatha (Arrow worms)) preys on:
plankton
detritus
phytoplankton
Calanus
Pteropods
Copepoda
Crangon
Mysidae

Based on studies in:
USA: Alaska, Torch Bay (Littoral, Rocky shore)
USA: Washington, Cape Flattery (Littoral, Rocky shore)
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
  • R. T. Paine, Food webs: linkage, interaction strength and community infrastructure, J. Anim. Ecol. 49:667-685, from p. 670 (1980).
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© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Parental Investment: no parental involvement

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Source: Animal Diversity Web

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:9438
Specimens with Sequences:5446
Specimens with Barcodes:3322
Species:1293
Species With Barcodes:756
Public Records:3335
Public Species:535
Public BINs:372
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at Florida Museum of Natural History
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© Ocean Genome Legacy

Source: Ocean Genome Resource

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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
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© Ocean Genome Legacy

Source: Ocean Genome Resource

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