A specialized cell in the tentacles of a jellyfish or other coelenterate, containing a barbed or venomous coiled thread that can be projected in self-defense or to capture prey.
More example sentences
- Casually touching many cnidarians will make it clear how they got their name when their nematocysts eject barbed threads tipped with poison.
- If collar cells and spicules are defining characteristics of the Phylum Porifera, then nematocysts define cnidarians.
- As a feeding adaptation, the anemones are equipped with stinging cells called nematocysts, which are triggered as soon as a tentacle touches a living organism, paralyzing it upon contact.
Definition of nematocyst in:
- The British & World English dictionary