Dictionary > Medusa

Medusa

Definition
noun, plural: medusae
(zoology) The freely-swimming, umbrella- or disk-shaped gelatinous form of Cnidarians (as opposed to the polyp form)
Supplement
Cnidarians exhibit two body forms: the freely swimming medusa and the sessile polyp forms. The medusa appears like an umbrella (others are disk in shape) with trailing tentacles on the lower surface (compare polyp). Also, it reproduces sexually in contrast with polyp reproducing asexually. Scyphozoans are group of Cnidarians that solely exhibit medusa forms. Other Cnidarians such as hydrozoans have both polyp and medusa stages in their life cycle.
Word origin: from its likeness to the tentacled head of Medusa in Greek mythology
Synonym(s):

Compare:

  • polyp (zoology)
  • Related term(s):

    • medusoid
    • medusa head


    You will also like...

    DNA - schematic
    Genetic Mutations

    This tutorial looks at the mutation at the gene level and the harm it may bring. Learn about single nucleotide polymorph..

    Human perception in action
    Human Perception – Neurology

    This tutorial investigates perception as two people can interpret the same thing differently. Know more about human perc..

    Physiological Homeostasis
    Physiological Homeostasis

    Homeostasis is essential to maintain conditions within the tolerable limits. Otherwise, the body will fail to function p..

    Oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell
    The Central Nervous System

    Myelin sheath is essential for a faster conductivity of signals. Know more about this feature of some neurons in the Cen..

    Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
    Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

    Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..

    ..

    Biological Energy
    ATP & ADP – Biological Energy

    ATP is the energy source that is typically used by an organism in its daily activities. The name is based on its structu..