Anthozoa facts for kids
late Ediacaran to present
The class does not have a medusa larval stage in its development, unlike the rest of the phylum. Like all Cnidaria, their food-catching and defense are done by nematocysts, which are extremely effective stinging cells. Over 6,100 species have been described.
There are three subclasses:
- Ceriantharia: the tube-dwelling anemones or cerianthids
- Hexacorallia: 4,300 species of colonial polyps, usually with 6-fold symmetry. This includes all of the stony corals, which are vital for coral reef formation, and all sea anemones, and zoanthids.
- Octocorallia: 3,000 species of colonial polyps with 8-fold symmetry. It includes the blue coral, soft corals, sea pens, and gorgonians (sea fans and sea whips).
Images for kids
Anatomy of a stony coral polyp
Anthozoa Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.