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What is the difference between a cnidocyte and a nematocyte?

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doorknob98 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted April 12, 2013 at 1:49 AM via web

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What is the difference between a cnidocyte and a nematocyte?

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 16, 2013 at 12:42 AM (Answer #1)

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A cnidocyte is found in members of Phylum Cnidaria and are stinging cells. These can be found on the tentacles which are arranged in circles around their mouths.  A nematocyst is coiled within a cnidocyte and contains a hooked barb. When an organism accidently brushes against the trigger of the nematocyst, the filament inside becomes uncoiled. A dart-like barb shoots into the prey and when it is discharged, a nerve toxin is released and causes the prey to become paralyzed. This helps initiate a feeding reflex in such Cnidarians as jellyfish, hydra and sea anemones.

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