Pleurobrachia

Propelled by eight rows of combs, sea gooseberries deploy long tentacles to fish for small crustaceans.

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  • beroe
    Beroe engBeroe ovata
  • leucothea
    LeucotheaLeucothea multicornis

Narration

At first sight pleurobrachia may look like a Chinese lantern, a christmas decoration or a flashing sign. A strange animal, commonly called ‘sea gooseberry’ or cat’s eye Pleurobrachia, which means arm at the side, is about the size of a marble. Pleurobrachia belongs to the family of ctenophores, from the Greek word ‘ktenos’, a comb. Their iridescent combs are made up of thousands of cilia which are used for propulsion.

Pleurobrachia are carnivorous. They capture zooplankton using long tentacles armed with sticky cells – called colloblasts – and then pull them towards their mouth.

Ctenophores are amongst the most ancient animals known to have developed a neuro-sensorial system. By studying them, biologists hope to learn how the first neurons appeared, information vital to an understanding of our own brain cells.

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Production
CNRS Images

Original Idea
Christian Sardet

Director
Véronique Kleiner

Texts
Véronique Kleiner

Images
Véronique Kleiner

Editing
Nicolas Mifsud

Sound mix
Thomas Huguet

Voice
Nick Storey

Sound Engineer
Jean Christophe Desnoux

Director of production
Véronique Kleiner

Production assistant
Céline Farlita

Creative Commons Licence :
Attribution Non-Commercial
No Derivative

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