|Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 1
Name: Moon Jelly (Aurelia)
Info: This is an example of a small Moon Jelly
Mouth - located on the oral surface in the center of the concave side
Oral Arms (Lobes) – fleshy structures which extend form the mouth. They bring food to the mouth.
Gonadal Rings – 4 horseshoe shaped reproductive structures. Produce eggs or sperm and will turn a pinkish color near spawning season.
Tentacles with Nematocysts – Extend from the rim of the outer edge of the bell. Contain the stinging cell (nematocyst). Used for prey capture and defense.
Rhopalium – located on the rim of the bell and deal with sensory orientation.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 2
Info: This is the ciliated larval stage that is formed after sexual reproduction in the Aurelia Scyphozoan. It will drift with plankton until it settles to feed and mature.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station 3
Info: This is an attached Polyp body stage of the Aurelia Jellyfish that develops after the ciliated planula settles. It forms tentacles and has a mouth. It feeds on Plankton, and will mature into the asexual budding stage called Strobila.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 4
Info: During this stage in the life cycle of the Aurelia Jellyfish, the polyp body will form a stack of tiny potential medusae. They will eventually bud off (asexual budding) tiny ephyrae, which will eventually mature into adults to reproduce sexually.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station 5
Name: Aurelia Ephyrae
Info: Tiny medusa which has been produced by asexual budding from the polyp body stage called Strobila. These will grow and mature into adult medusa and begin the life cycle again through sexual reproduction.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station 6
Name: Cassiopeia, the upside down sea jelly
Info: The animal without a mouth lies upside down in the shallow mangroves and sea grass beds. The bell is flat and the arms (tentacles) are filled with Mutualistic Symbiotic Algae, Zooxanthellae. It mainly photosynthesizes for food.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station 7
Name: Hydroid Colony called Obelia
Info: This colonial organism contains Gonozooids (gonangia)(reproductive polyps), Gastrozooids (digestive or feeding polyps), and Dactylozooids (defensive polyps with the tentacles extended). With a common gastrovascular cavity, food for one polyp is food for the whole colony.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station 8
Name: Obelia Medusa
Info: These tiny medusa are produced by asexual budding in Hydrozoans. They will mature and reproduce through sexual reproduction. The ciliated planula will settle to begin a whole new hydroid colony.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station 9
Name: Portuguese Man or War
Info: A colony of zooids (Gonozooids, Gastrozooids, and Dactylozooids). The fishing tentacles can be over 30 feet long and can retract to allow the feeding polyps to digest for the colony. They contain very powerful nematocysts.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 10
Name: Sea Anemone
Info: Notice the mouth in the center of the tentacles. This serves as both a mouth and anus and leads into the gastrovascular cavity or gut called the Coelenteron. Some anemone have mutualistic symbiotic relationships with fish, shrimp and crabs. They can attach or burrow into the substrate. The can feed on almost anything that comes their way. Some are Vagile (have the ability to move).
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 11
Name: Mushroom Coral
Info: This is one single large coral polyp. The animal produces the calcium carbonate cup in which it lives. The cup is divided by septa and has one opening leading to the gastrovascular cavity (coelenteron).
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 12
Name: Star Coral polyp
Info: Notice each little coral animal (polyp) with their tentacles extended. Each cup that is produced by the animal is called a corallite. It is called star coral, because their corallites resemble stars. This is a reef building stony coral.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 13
Name: Brain Coral
Info: Reef building stony corals. Grows very slowly, only one-fourth of and inch to two inches a year. Like all stony corals, they take calcium carbonate ions from the water into their bodies, and secrete it to form the limestone reef. These can reach massive sizes.
Phylum: Cnidaria Station: 14
Name: Sea Fans and Sea Whips
Info: These are flexible corals called “Gorgonians’ or “Gorgonia”. The skeleton consists of limy spicules, fused spicules, or horny protein unlike the hard corals which have skeletons of calcium carbonate.
Top Photo: A Flamingo Tongue Snail (gastropod) is perched on a sea fan.
Bottom Left Photo: Notice all the flexible coral polyps have their tentacles extended. The picture was taken at night when the polyps are feeding. On right are Sea Whips
Phylum: Ctenophora Station: 15
Name: Comb Jellies
Info: Notice the rows of comb plates called Ctenes that are used for locomotion. The Ctenes have sticky cells called Colloblasts that help them capture prey. Sometimes the plankton they catch are bioluminescent, so they will glow as they capture prey and swim through the water.