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Production CNRS Images

Original Idea

Christian Sardet

Director

Véronique Kleiner

Texts

Véronique Kleiner

Images

Véronique Kleiner

Editing

Nicolas Mifsud

Sound mix

Thomas Huguet

Narration

Nick Storey

Director of production

Véronique Kleiner

Production assistant

Céline Farlita

Pleurobrachia

time 01:51

Propelled by eight rows of combs, sea gooseberries deploy

long tentacles to fish for small crustaceans.

Photo Gallery

Narration

At first sight pleurobrachia may look like a Chinese lantern, a christmas decoration or a flashing sign. A strange animal, commonly called ‘sea gooseberry’ or cat’s eye Pleurobrachia, which means arm at the side, is about the size of a marble. Pleurobrachia belongs to the family of ctenophores, from the Greek word ‘ktenos’, a comb. Their iridescent combs are made up of thousands of cilia which are used for propulsion. 

Pleurobrachia are carnivorous. They capture zooplankton using long tentacles armed with sticky cells - called colloblasts - and then pull them towards their mouth. 

Ctenophores are amongst the most ancient animals known to have developed a neuro-sensorial system. By studying them, biologists hope to learn how the first neurons appeared, information vital to an understanding of our own brain cells.

In this episode

Ctenophores

Beroe / Beroe ovata
Leucothea / Leucothea multicornis