Hydra sp. polyp

Hydra sp. polyp

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hydra polyp. Macrophotograph of a freshwater coelenterate polyp, Hydra sp. attached at its base to a water weed. The anterior of the creature consists of a mouth surrounded by tentacles. The tentacles are used to capture food such as small water fleas and algal cells floating past on the current. The food is passed to the mouth, from where the creature also expels its waste. In good feeding conditions hydra reproduces asexually by budding off daughter polyps. In poor conditions sexual cells are released into the water for fertilisation. The Hydra genus is remarkable in its ability to regenerate itself when damaged. Magnification: x3 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: animal, coelenterate, freshwater, hydra, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, polyp, regenerative ability, wildlife, zoology

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