Thaliacea Diet, Facts, Lifecycle, Habitat

Thaliacea is a class containing about 70 small species. These species are barrel-shaped animals. They like to travel throughout their life from the warm seas of the world. They feed and swim, or they swim to feed. They are called the filter feeders because their inhalant and exhalant siphons are on opposite sides. There are three different orders of this class i.e., Salpida, Pyrosomida, and Doliolida. Salpida is also known as Salp and is non-colonial. Pyrosomida is also known as Pyrosomes and is colonial. Lastly, Doliolida is also non-colonial. They feed interestingly by drawing in water.

    Thaliacea Diet

    Thaliacea class feeds in an interesting way. They draw a current of water through an oral siphon. This water passes from many slats and pores of the pharynx and then flows out of the body through the cloacal siphon. The water passes through a mucous sheet that covers the basket. The phytoplankton in the water gets attached to the mucous membrane. This mucus is moved to the mouth to eat these phytoplanktons. Salps eat microscopic plants swimming in water and plant plankton. Pyrosomes also eat plant plankton. Doliolida, too survives on the plant plankton. They feed and travel, and vice versa.

    Thaliacea Diet, Facts, Lifecycle, Habitat

    Thaliacea Facts

    Salps are small-sized animals drifting in the water. Their body is cylindrical and clear. They have openings on each end. There is a basketball like structure in between the openings. This structure contains a mucus sheet. Bands of muscles are present in their jelly-like body. They are 0.2 to 8 inches in size. Pyrosomes are 0.3 inches in length and have a thick tube under their bodies. The mouth of pyrosomes are out of the base tube, and the exit holes are towards the colony. The body of pyrosomes emits light that presents a glowing effect in the water.

    Thaliacea Lifecycle

    Salps have hair-like projections on their body that help them swim in the water. They take in water through the oral opening and release water out through the exit opening. They are all dependent on the mercy of water flow. The zygote hatch and develop inside the animals. In the other species, the larvae produce from an egg, and then it transforms into an adult. They reproduce alternatively by sexual and asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction involves egg and a sperm, whereas asexual reproduction occurs through budding. From the sexual phase, egg and sperm mate, it leads to asexual reproduction. After budding, it develops to an adult and again reproduces through the sexual procedure.

    Thaliacea Habitat

    Most of the salps live on the surface of the water, but rarely they are also found in deeper water. They live in both warm seas and cool seas. There is no distribution map of their geographical locations. They can be found easily in surface waters. Pyrosomes are distributed all over the world. They sometimes travel down to the depth of water. They may travel deep down up to 2500 feet (750 meters). After diving deep, they again return to the surface of the water. There isn’t any specified region of their occurrence. They are distributed all over the world.

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