Difference Between Polyp and Medusa

In the phylum Cnidaria, which includes jellyfish and sea anemones, polyp and medusa are two different stages of the life cycle. In some species, these two stages alternate between each other, such as in Hydrozoa. Jellyfish, on the other hand, exhibit only the medusa stage, while members of the genus Hydra exhibit the polyp form. Read on to explore more differences between Polyp and Medusa.

Difference Between Medusa and Polyp

Polyp

Medusa

Mobility

Polyps are sessile

Medusae are mobile

Shape

Polyps possess a tubular shape

Medusa has a bell-shaped body

Mouth

The mouth of polyps faces the water upwards

Medusa have their mouths facing the water downwards

Manubrium

Absent in polyps

Present in medusae

Sense Organs

Absent in polyps

Photoreceptors and statocyst are present in medusae

Method of Reproduction

Can reproduce sexually as well as asexually

Exclusively sexual reproduction

Reproduction

Polyps can give rise to more polyps as well as medusae through budding

Medusae can only give rise to medusae

Evolution

Polyps are a relatively primitive form of cnidarians

Medusae are much more evolved and complex form of cnidarians

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