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Production CNRS Images

Original Idea

Christian Sardet


Véronique Kleiner


Véronique Kleiner


Véronique Kleiner


Nicolas Mifsud

Sound mix

Thomas Huguet


Nick Storey

Director of production

Véronique Kleiner

Production assistant

Céline Farlita


time 01:51

Propelled by eight rows of combs, sea gooseberries deploy

long tentacles to fish for small crustaceans.

Photo Gallery


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


Beroe / Beroe ovata
Leucothea / Leucothea multicornis