Habitat

The medusae of the Hydrozoa and the siphonophores are mostly planktonic; they are seasonal in occurrence and can be present in swarms, transported by the currents. Some medusae and some siphonophores, however, can be benthic. The polyp stages are usually benthic and live attached to the bottom, even though some species can be planktonic, such as the well-known Velella velella.

The Hydrozoa occur in all aquatic habitats, from anchia-line caves to deep-sea trenches, from lakes and ponds to rocky coasts and the interstices among sand grains. The polyp stages of many species live exclusively on certain types of substrate, usually other organisms such as fishes, tunicates, polychaetes, bryozoans, mollusks, crustaceans, sponges, cnidarians, algae, sea-grasses, etc., with which they have symbiotic relationships ranging from simple epibiosis to commensalisms, mutualism, and parasitism.

Hydrozoa are mostly carnivores, using their habitat to acquire favorable positions to catch their prey. Planktonic stages are transported by currents, but can also move within water masses, searching for food. The position of benthic forms is decided by the planula, at the moment of settlement. Colonies are positioned at locations that will ensure a supply of new, fresh water around the hydranths, enhancing the transport of potential prey.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

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