Hydra: Octopus of the Microscopic World

[caption id="attachment_6105" align="alignright" width="440"] Hydra oligactis - CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported by Lifetrance[/caption] Resembling a cross between an octopus and a sea anemone, tiny hydra lives in fresh water. It would make an excellent subject for a Japanese sci-fi movie. H. oligactis, seen at left, has a central stalk from which a number of tentacles radiate. The Real Deal Waving its tentacles in search of prey, the tiny creature thrives in among loose weeds. The creatures are carnivores. Scientists find them of special interest because of their great ability to regenerate. They are capable of living a long time. The base of the stalk secretes an adhesive that enables the miniature "octopus" to stick to surfaces. The tentacles contain nematocysts or stinging cells with neurotoxins that paralyze a victim.…
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