Concept

Hydra (genus)

Summary
Hydra (ˈhaɪdrə ) is a genus of small freshwater hydrozoans of the phylum Cnidaria. They are native to the temperate and tropical regions. The genus was named by Linnaeus in 1758 after the Hydra, which was the many-headed beast defeated by Heracles, as when the animal had a part severed, it would regenerate much like the hydra’s heads. Biologists are especially interested in Hydra because of their regenerative ability; they do not appear to die of old age, or to age at all. Morphology Hydra has a tubular, radially symmetric body up to long when extended, secured by a simple adhesive foot known as the basal disc. Gland cells in the basal disc secrete a sticky fluid that accounts for its adhesive properties. At the free end of the body is a mouth opening surrounded by one to twelve thin, mobile tentacles. Each tentacle, or cnida (plural: cnidae), is clothed with highly specialised stinging cells called cnidocytes. Cnidocytes contain specialized structures called nematocy
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