In this way the medusa sinks from an independent per sonality to an organ of the polyp-colony, becoming a so-called medusoid gonophore, or bearer of the reproductive organs, and losing gradually all organs necessary for an independent existence, namely those of sense, locomotion and nutrition.
It is evident that the outer envelope of the gonophore represents the ex-umbral ectoderm (ex.), and that the inner ectoderm lining the cavity represents the sub-umbral ectoderm of the free medusa.
A, A male gonophore still enclosed in its ecto theca.
If the bud, however, is destined to give rise not to a free medusa, but to a gonophore, the development is similar but becomes arrested at various points, according to the degree to which the gonophore is degenerate.
The question is one intimately connected with the view taken as to the nature and individuality of polyp, medusa and gonophore respectively.