Research

Colonial Life

Hydroids are small underwater animals that often live in colonies made up of individual polyps. The colony is interconnected through the gastrovascular system, which is responsible for both digestion and respiration. In the images above, a single polyp in the colony has been fed food dyed with a fluorescent tracer. The polyp serves as a circulating pump and, as the food is digested and the tracer released, more and more of the colony becomes visible. Watch the full video and read more about the experiment. (Video credit and submission: L. Buss Lab)

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