Neurons and Their Peptide Transmitters in Coelenterates

  • C. J. P. Grimmelikhuijzen
  • D. Graff
  • O. Koizumi
  • J. A. Westfall
  • I. D. McFarlane
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 188)


Coelenterates have the simplest nervous system in the animal kingdom, and it was probably within this group of animals that nervous systems first evolved. Present day coelenterates are diverse and comprise two phyla. The classes Hydrozoa (for example Hydra), Cubozoa (“box jellyfishes”), Scyphozoa (“true jellyfishes”) and Anthozoa (for example sea anemones and corals) constitute the phylum Cnidaria. A companion phylum is the Ctenophora (“combjellies”) or Acnidaria. Most Hydrozoa, Cubozoa and Scyphozoa have a life cycle including a polyp (sessile) and medusa (mobile) form. In Anthozoa, the medusa is lacking, whereas in Ctenophora no polyps occur. Coelenterates can either live individually or in colonies. Many Hydrozoa and Anthozoa form colonies of polyps (e.g. corals), but also mixed colonies of polyps and medusae exist. The physonectid siphonophores, for example, are swimming hydrozoans consisting of a long stem to which numerous medusae and various forms of polyps are attached.


Radial Nerve Sensory Cell Carboxy Terminus Nerve Ring Giant Axon 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. P. Grimmelikhuijzen
    • 1
  • D. Graff
    • 1
  • O. Koizumi
    • 2
  • J. A. Westfall
    • 2
  • I. D. McFarlane
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Molecular NeurobiologyUniversity of HamburgHamburg 20Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary MedicineKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied BiologyUniversity of HullHullUK

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