Hydroid in defensive position, SEM

Hydroid in defensive position, SEM

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Credit: JANNICKE WIIK-NIELSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the hydroid, Ectopleura larynx, a fouling organism usually found attached to sunken ropes, floating buoys, mussel shells, rocks and seaweed. The hydroid has tentacles for defence and feeding. The chemically challenged hydroid in the image uses its tentacles to protect the gonophores, or sexual buds, from the external threat. The hydroid is classified in the phylum Cnidaria, a varied group of animals that also includes corals, sea anemones, sea pens, sea pansies and jellyfishes. Magnification: x32 when printed at 10cm wide.

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