10 characteristics of ECHINODERMS
Echinoderms are animals you should know about. If you know a starfish, then you are aware of what an echinoderm is. Echinoderms are animals that are invertebrates.. The name actually means prickly skin! All animals in this phylum exhibit spiny skin and are therefore grouped together. Let's find out more about them.
Echinodermata may appear morphologically (structure and shape) different to the naked eye, but they all share the same characteristic features. These animals have some really unique shapes and they have beautiful colors. They are ecologically and geologically important, as they provide valuable clues about the geological setting.
Echinoderms are marine animals and can be found in the depths of the ocean, as well as in the intertidal zone. An interesting feature of this phylum is that all the animals that belong to the Echinodermata are marine. There are no freshwater or terrestrial organisms in this phylum. The water vascular system present in echinoderms is a unique circulatory system. This accounts for gas exchange, nutrient circulation, waste removal, and locomotion. This system has a central ring channel and radial channels that run the length of each arm. Through these structures, water circulates. The madreporite is a structure present in the upper part of the body. This is responsible for the regulation of water in the water vascular system.
Did you know that they can regenerate limbs? When a starfish, with five arms, loses an arm, it has the ability to regenerate the missing arm. This regeneration can last from several months to years, since the wound has to heal and only then do new cells regenerate.
Below is a summary of the characteristics of echinoderms:
- They are exclusively marine animals.
- The larval forms show bilateral symmetry and the adult forms show radial symmetry.
- The body surface is covered with calcareous spicules.
- The body cavity has the distinctive water vascular system.
- The brain is absent, but there is a nervous system with a nerve ring and a radial nerve cord.
- The sexes are separate.
- Fertilization is external.
- Lost parts can be regenerated.
- The body has a unique shape. It can be star-shaped, elongated or spherical.
- Sensory organs are poorly developed and include tactile organs, chemoreceptors in some species, terminal tentacles in other varieties, etc.
The phylum Echinodermata is classified into the following classes:
Examples of echinoderms
- Asterias (starfish)
- Echinus (sea urchin)
- Antedon (sea lily)
- Cucumaria (sea cucumber)
- Ophiura (brittle star)
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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of ECHINODERMS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-echinoderms/ (Consultado el: 26-09-2023)
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