The Diversity of Cnidarians

What is a Cnidarian?


Let's start with the root word. Cnidaria is a phylum under Kingdom Animalia containing over 11,000 species of animals found exclusively in aquatic environments: they are predominantly marine. Their distinguishing feature is cnidocytes, which are specialized cells that they use mainly for capturing prey.


That's a lot of fancy science lingo!

Let me show you some organisms you've likely seen before!


Cnidarians can be broken down into four major classes.


Scyphozoa (jellies):


Cubozoa (box jellies, sea wasp):













Anthozoa (sea anenomies, sea pens, and corals):