An aquatic invertebrate animal of a phylum that includes jellyfishes, corals, and sea anemones. They typically have a tube- or cup-shaped body with a single opening ringed with tentacles that bear stinging cells (nematocysts). Also called cnidarian.
- Over 200 species of micro-organisms, fish, crustaceans, polychaetes, echinoderms, coelenterates, and molluscs have been identified in the vent areas.
- Some Late Precambrian Ediacaran fossils bear strong resemblances to colonial coelenterates called sea pens.
- Seabather's eruption occurs when a person is exposed to the larvae of certain coelenterates.
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Coelenterata, from Greek koilos 'hollow' + enteron 'intestine'.
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