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Phylum Ctenophora

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  • Last Updated : 07 Sep, 2022
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Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that belong to the Kingdom Animalia. Every animal has distinct traits. They get their energy either from plants or from other creatures. Millions of species have been recognized, with some sharing similar features and others differing dramatically. The traits of animals are used to classify them. They are found in algae, plants, and fungi when solid cell walls do not exist. Some are also heterotrophic, digesting their food within internal chambers, which distinguishes them from algae and plants. Another distinguishing feature of these species is their mobility, especially during particular life phases.

Phylum Ctenophora



Have you ever snorkeled in the deep water and come across a lightning-clear critter that looks like a jellyfish and reflects a stunning rainbow-like effect? Ctenophores resemble jellyfish but do not belong to the Phylum Cnidaria. These species are members of the Phylum Ctenophora. This Phylum is not as well known as other animal kingdom species.

Ctenophores are soft-bodied, free-swimming marine animals having biradial symmetry and comb-like ciliary plates for movement. They are devoid of nematocytes. They are also known as sea walnuts or comb jellies. Members of this Phylum are exclusively aquatic creatures that live on the ocean’s surface or at its bottom. Comb Jellies are another name for them. This article will provide previously discovered information about the Phylum Ctenophora.

Definition of Ctenophora Phylum 

Comb jellies are another name for Phylum Ctenophora. This Phylum is made up of bi-radially (radial + bilateral) symmetrical marine water invertebrates, most of which are transparent and colorful. This Phylum’s species are mostly found in aquatic habitats and do not live in freshwater. Animals in this Phylum include the Sea Walnut, Sea Gooseberries, Venus Girdle, and others.


Ctenophores are classified into two groups and many orders based on their body shapes and features Ctenophora is split into two groups based on the presence or lack of tentacles.

  • Class-1 Tentaculate is a class of organisms that have tentacles.
  • Class-2 Nuda means without tentacles.


  • These species are only found in the sea.
  • This Phylum’s animals are solitary and free swimming.
  • They have a diploblastic acoelomate body structure. The body is translucent, gelatinous, soft, and segmented, with two long, solid, retractile tentacles.
  • Body Symmetry: These species have a bi-radial symmetry.
  • Tissue: Tissue-level organization is seen in these invertebrates.
  • They move by using eight strips of cilia called comb rows. These comb-like rows aid in movement.
  • Reproduction happens through sexual methods because they are hermaphrodite animals.
  • External fertilization and indirect development are used by these species.
  • They have both an external and an intracellular digestive system.
  • For balance, they have an aboral sensory organ called the statocyst.
  • Respiration and excretion: They lack distinct organs for respiration and excretion, and the body surface is responsible for both.
  • Size and shape range from microscopic Phylum Ctenophora spheroids (0.04 inch) to lengthy (4.9 foot) ribbons. Ctenophora are lobe-shaped animals.

Economic Importance

  •  They create stunning vistas while diving and snorkeling.
  • One advantage of Ctenophora was its genetics. The light created quickly by Ctenophores is employed as a “biomarker” or “biotag.”
  • Scientists employ them in studies to uncover activation genes by making various luminous cats, mice, and other animals and determining if the genetic alterations made to these animals are functioning.

 Ecological Importance

  • They reproduce fast and are effective predators, so they keep the plankton population under control.
  • They may hunger and shrink when food is scarce, and they can adapt to higher temperatures, giving them an edge in changing climatic conditions.

FAQs on Ctenophora

Question 1: What are the species found in the Phylum Ctenophora?

Answer : 

The creatures found in the Phylum Ctenophora include Sea Walnut, Beroe, Venus Girdle, and others.

Question 2: What are the distinct classes of the Ctenophora Phylum?

Answer : 

Tentaculate and Nuda are the two classes of the Phylum Ctenophora.

Question 3: What does the name Ctenophora mean?


The term Phylum Ctenophora is derived from the Greek word Ctene, which means “comb, arid.” Phora means “carrier,” referring to the animal’s ciliary comb-like structure on its surface.

Question 4: What kinds of ctenophores are there?

Answer : 

Pleurobrachia, Beroe, Mnemiopsis, Bolinopsis, and Ctenoplana are some typical examples. Ctenophores are classified into two groups and many orders based on their body shapes and features. Ctenophora is split into two groups based on the presence or lack of tentacles.

Question 5: How does the digestive system of Ctenophora work?

Answer : 

The Ctenophora digestive system uses multiple organs to break down food. With a pair of branching and sticky tentacles, they eat other ctenophores and planktonic species. Food enters their mouth and goes via the cilia to the pharynx, where it is broken down by muscular constriction.

Question 6: Ctenophores grow to what size?

Answer : 

They are the biggest species to swim with the help of cilia, and they are distinguished by the groups of cilia they employ (typically called the “combs”). Depending on the species, adult ctenophores range in size from a few centimeters to 1.5 meters.

Question 7: What exactly is the phylum Ctenophora?

Answer : 

Animals in this Phylum include the Sea Walnut, Sea Gooseberries, Venus Girdle, and others. Georges Cuvier invented the word Ctenophora. This Phylum gets its name from the Greek words “Ctene,” which means “comb,” and “Phora,” which means “carrier,” referring to the ciliary comb-like structure on the organism’s surface.

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