In other cases, however, the medusa-individuals become sexually mature while still attached to the parent polyp, and are then not set free at all, but become appanages of the hydroid colony and undergo degenerative changes leading to reduction and even to complete obliteration of their original medusan structure.
Cladonema still has the typical medusan structure, and is able to swim about, but in Clavatella the umbrella is so much reduced that swimming is no longer possible.
The gonophores of different hydroids differ greatly in structure from one another, and form a series showing degeneration of the medusa-individual, which is gradually stripped, as it were, of its characteristic features of medusan organization and finally reduced to the simplest structure.
Medusa-buds) in the extreme of degeneration, then it follows from Brooks's theory that Hydra must be descended from an archaic form in which the medusan type of organization had not yet been evolved.
The evidence against this view may be classed under two heads: first, comparative evidence; hydroids very different in their structural characters and widely separate in the systematic classification of these organisms may produce medusae very similar, at least so far as the essential features of medusan organization are concerned; on the other hydroids closely allied, perhaps almost indistinguishable, may produce gonophores in the one case, medusae in the other; for example, Hydractinia (gonophores) and Podocoryne (medusae), Tubularia (gonophores) and Ectopleura (medusae), Coryne (gonophores) and Syncoryne (medusae),-and so on.
How would you define medusan? Add your definition here.