Siphonophore

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SIPHONOPHORES
By Emma Gregory and Seth Brooks
WHAT ARE SIPHONOPHORES?
• Siphonophores are a type of plankton
consisting of many different zooids (individual
organisms) that grow from a single egg. These
individual zooids are not able to survive on their
own if they are separated from the colony.
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
• Siphonophores range widely in
appearance. They can look like
jellyfish, glowing lanterns, masses of
tentacles, centipede-like creatures,
or long, luminescent strings. They
can grow up to 40 meters in length.
Right- Hula Skirt Siphonophore demonstrating the
varied appearances of this type of plankton
WORKS CITED
• www.siphonophores.org
WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF A
SIPHONOPHORE?
• Pneumatophore – A gas filled sac that is used
to keep the siphonophores afloat.
Left- A Comb Jelly Siphonophore with a large pneumatophore
WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF A
SIPHONOPHORE?
• Nectosome – The nectosome contains the
nectophores, which are specialized
structures that propel the siphonophore
forward.
Right- A photo of a Siphonophore’s nectosomes
WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF A
SIPHONOPHORE?
• Siphosome – The siphosome
contains all the other parts of a
siphonophore. These including
polyps and medusa for catching
and digesting food, transporting
nutrients, reproduction, and
defense.
Right- Diagram of a Siphonophore’s body plan
• Palpon – A type of polyp that has
excretory and defense
responsibilities.
• Bract – A type of polyp or medusa
(debated) which plays a role as a
barricade for the colony.
Right- Diagram of a Siphonophore’s body plan,
including the Palpons and Polyps
HOW DO SIPHONOPHORES
REPRODUCE?
All of the parts of a siphonophore develop from a
fertilized egg called a protozooid. It then develops a
pneumatophore, nectophores, and the remaining
zooids it needs to survive.
Many siphonophore colonies are hermaphroditic,
while some colonies are strictly male or female.
LIFECYCLE OF A SIPHONOPHORE
1. Egg is fertilized
2. Egg develops into a protozooid
3. All other zooids of the colony bud from the
protozooid
4. Siphonophores grow symmetrically, adding new
nectophores and siphosomes down the main stem
Right- Illustrated lifecycle of a Siphonophore
HOW DO SIPHONOPHORES EAT?
• Siphonophores are cnidarians, a group of
organisms that use cnidocytes kill their prey.
• Cnidocytes are a type of cell that contain a
hollow, dart-like structure. Once activated, these
inject toxins into the other organism.
• After the animal has been stunned or killed, the
siphonophore’s digestive parts engulf the prey.
Right- A Siphonophore covered in cnidocytes
WHAT DO SIPHONOPHORES EAT?
• All Siphonophores are predators,
and they eat small fish, krill,
crustaceans, and anything else that
swims into their tentacles.
Right- A Portuguese Man-Of-War eating small fish
WHERE DO THEY LIVE?
• Siphonophores are common in most
open and deep ocean ecosystems.
They are very fragile and oftentimes
small, which makes them hard to
catch and to see.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i
XDH23kIuhk
(Near shore siphonophore)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K
T1TSbarW1U
(Deep sea siphonophore)
HOW DO THEY EFFECT THE
ECOSYSTEM?
• Siphonophores keep down
populations of small fish and other
types of zooplankton, which in turn
helps the phytoplankton
populations.
SIPHONOPHORES OF PUGET
SOUND
• No information was found on types
of Siphonophores in Puget Sound.
Finding an unspecified type of
siphonophore during a night dive is
mentioned in someone’s personal
blog, but this should be taken with a
grain of salt.

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