The Hydromedusae are distinguished from the Scyphozoa chiefly by negative characters; they have no stomodaeum, that is, no ingrowth of ectoderm at the mouth to form an oesophagus; they have no mesenteries (radiating partitions) which incompletely subdivide the coelenteron; and they have no concentration of digestive cells into special organs.
The Scyphozoa have the following features in common: - They typically exhibit an ectodermal stomodaeum; partitions or mesenteries project into their coelenteron from the body-wall, and on these are generally concentrated digestive cells (to form mesenterial filaments, phacellae or gastric filaments, &c.); the external musculature of the body-wall is circular (except in Cerianthus); the internal, longitudinal; and the sexual cells probably always arise in the endoderm.
At the point of divergence between Scyphozoa and Hydromedusae (II.
The diagnostic features of the class Scyphozoa thus constituted are supposed to be (I) an ectodermal oesophagus or stomodaeum, (2) a gastric cavity subdivided by mesenteries, (3) gonads formed in the endoderm.
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