Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hydra bud

To reproduce asexually, hydra bud. A bump grows on the lower stem of the adult, elongates, grows tenticles, develops a seperated body cavity, and finally releases from the mother to be a perfect little clone. This particular bud needs another few days of growing before it can detach, but its tenticles are already armed with poison stingers, and it can catch prey, or eat plankton passed to it by the tenticles of the mother. I've only seen this food-passing a couple of time, and it could even be coincidental, but it is nice to think that even cnidarians get tasty treats from their mommies.


jte said...

Fantastic! What kind of sharing is going on between the two at this point? Can one get nutrition, or anything else, from the other through the bud-contact point?

Dan Levitis said...

Almost until the bud separates, their body cavities, effectively their stomachs, are joined. Also there is a sizable migration of cells from Mother to daughter, and many of the cells migrate to the same place in the daughter that they left in the mother. Finally, the mother can catch plankton, and put them in the tentacles of the daughter, but I don't know if this happens only by chance, or is in some sense intentional.