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What are some characteristics of coelenterates?

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Quick Answer

Coelenterates are soft-bodied organisms such as jellyfish, anemones, coral and hydras and are characterized by a gelatinous body, tentacles and the presence of nemadocysts or stinging cells. Their body structure is relatively simple, with two layers of cells and radial symmetry.

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Full Answer

All coelenterates are aquatic and mostly live in marine environments, although there are some that can be found in fresh or brackish water. They have a single opening, and respiration and excretion are performed through diffusion. Coelenterates have a simple network of nerves across their body, and can be either free-swimming or immobile. Some coelenterates live in polymorphic colonies where individual members perform different functions.

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