Coelenterate Biology: Reviews and New Perspectives highlights research areas in which coelenterates are exceptionally useful and interesting experimental animals. It outlines the state of knowledge in coelenterate research and draws attention to some of the challenging problems that are amenable for study. Coelenterates offer valuable material for many levels of inquiry—from the population and organismic to the cellular, subcellular, and molecular levels. They are especially attractive animals for studies in developmental biology and behavior.
The book begins by discussing cnidarians histology, focusing on the light and electron microscopy of cnidarian tissues. There are separate chapters on the skeletal system of cnidarians; the morphology, functions, and chemistry of nematocytes; and a few aspects of the enormous subject of cnidarian development. The subsequent chapters deal with cnidarian neurobiology, behavior, locomotion, flotation, and dispersal; experimental studies on algae-cnidarian symbioses; and coelenterate bioluminescence. The book concludes with a discussion of the systems of coordination and nervous system of ctenophores.