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Cnidaria as food-sources for marine invertebrates
von Salvini-Plawen, L. (1972). Cnidaria as food-sources for marine invertebrates. Cah. Biol. Mar. 13(3): 385-400, 1 plate
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine invertebrates; Predators; Cnidaria [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • von Salvini-Plawen, L.

    (1) A review of those representatives which-either as predators or as parasites-feed on Cnidaria, shows that the Coelenterates form a widespread source of food, and according to our knowledge there are neither systematic-anatomical nor ecological limits to exploit this resource in spite of the stinging organs. (2) In comparing all these animals, the avoidance of the poisonous effects of nematocysts seems to take place either by mechanical protection (cuticular lining of the pharynx, etc) or by glandular action (of the integument or the gut). (3) As hyper-viscosity of the surrounding medium prevents the discharge of nematocysts, mucous and enzymatic secretions principally show an immunizing effect. The specificity of the predator's secretion to the prey therefore would not need to be very great, and the enormous number of cnidaria-vores would be explicable. (4) Some experimental findings and other evidence in Solenogastres (which have been dealt with in detail) as well as in Turbellaria and Gastropoda show that secretions of the gut immunize the prey's tissue before it is devoured.

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