12 Difference Between Porifera and Coelenterata (With Table)

Porifera and coelenterate are two primitive phyla in the kingdom Animalia. Porifera phylum includes aquatic animals with a cellular level organization known as sponges. Coelenterata phylum includes radially symmetrical aquatic animals with a simple tissue-level organization.

The main difference between Porifera and Coelenterata is that Porifera consists of numerous pores throughout the body working as outlets and inlets of water openings while Coelenterata consists of a single opening on the body used as mouth or anus.

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Comparison Table (Porifera vs Coelenterata)

Characteristics Porifera Coelenterata
Pores Contain numerous pores in the body. They have one opening used as a mouth or anus.
Cell layers in the body Mesuhyl is found between the two cell layers. Mesoglea is found between the two cell layers.
Exoskeleton They have an exoskeleton. They do not have an exoskeleton.
Organization They exhibit a cellular level organization. They exhibit a tissue-level organization.
Circulation in the body The canal system circulates food, water, and oxygen throughout the body. Circulation of water, food, and oxygen is done by coelenteron.
Location They are non-motile mostly found attached to rocks in marine water. They either live in colonies or are solitary.
Asexual reproduction It occurs after fragmentation, budding, or producing gemmules method. Takes place by budding in polyps.
Sexual reproduction Sperms are produced y choanocytes and eggs are produced by the transformation of archetypes. Adults have gonads which release ova and sperms in water.
Body symmetry Bodies have no symmetry. They have radial symmetrical bodies.
Nervous system They do not have a nervous system. They consist of a nerve net in between the two cell layers.
The cell in each layer Cells in each layer are not bound together. Consists of inter-cell connections and the basement membrane.
Remolding Cells can move inwards and change their functions. Remolding does not occur.
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What is Porifera?

Porifera consists of pore-bearing animals called Sponges. They are classified as animals since they do not have cell walls around their body cells. They are made of live cells and show a sexually reproductive mechanism.

They contain a lot of pores on their bodies and they do not have a vital organ system. The nutrients they require in their bodies such as water, food, and oxygen are transported in their bodies through the pores.

They are sessile animals and they can live both in fresh and salty water. Their bodies do not have a particular shape or symmetry. They contain two cell layers and mesohyl exists between the cell layers. The cell migrates between the two layers allowing the poriferans to be remolded. Mesohyl maintains the body of sponges.

Sponges reproduce asexually after fragmentation, budding, and producing gemmules. They reproduce sexually by choanocytes producing the eggs and are produced by the transformation of archetypes during sexual reproduction.

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What is Coelenterata?

Coelenterata includes aquatic animals that are radially symmetrical, multicellular with the tissue-level organization. They include coral reefs, jellyfish, and other oceanic features. They are also referred to as cnidarians.

They are found in both salt and marine water. They live either in colonies or solitary. Some species are free-living and others are attached to the surfaces. They possess tentacles that are used for defense, locomotion, and capturing of food.

As the phylum is referred to as Cnidarians, it comprises polyps and medusa which are life stages in different organisms. Both polyps and medusa have radially symmetrical bodies. Polyps reproduce asexually by budding while medusa reproduces sexually by gametes.

Main Differences between Porifera and Coelenterata

  1. Porifera contain numerous pores on their bodies while Coelenterata contains one opening on their bodies which is used as mouth or anus.
  2. Porifera have mesuhyl between the two cell layers while Coelenterata has mesoglea between the two cell layers.
  3. Porifera have an exoskeleton while Coelenterata does not have an exoskeleton.
  4. Porifera exhibits cellular-level organization while Coelenterata exhibits tissue-level organization.
  5. The bodies of Porifera do not have radial symmetry while bodies of Coelenterata have radial symmetry.
  6. Porifera are motile and mostly attach themselves to rocks while Coelenterata lives in colonies or solitary.
  7. Porifera is remold by their cells moving inwards and changing their function while Coelenterata does not remold.
  8. Porifera reproduce asexually by fragmentation, budding, or producing gemmules while Coelenterata reproduces asexually by budding in polyps.
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Similarities between Porifera and Coelenterata

  1. They both include aquatic animals.
  2. They both reproduce asexually and sexually.
  3. Budding occurs in both.

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In Conclusion

Porifera are multicellular immobile animals. Coelenterata is commonly referred to as cnidaria because of the presence of cnidocytes. Cnidarians consist of simple nervous systems. Porifera consist of special openings throughout their bodies while Coelenterata consists of only one opening used as mouth or anus. The main feature that makes Porifera different from Coelenterata is the pores on their bodies.

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