noun, plural: cnidocytes

A specialized cell containing a cnidocyst involved in capturing prey and defense mechanism against predators of the cnidarians


Cnidocytes are a distinctive feature of cnidarians (jellyfishes, sea anemones, corals, hydrae, etc.). These are explosive cells used by cnidarians in order to capture their prey (e.g. fish and crustaceans). These cells shoot off threadlike, often toxic, tubule inside the cnidocyst.

Word origin: Latin cnīdē (nettle) + -cyte (cell)


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