How Does The Hydra Grow New Tentacles?

Not only does it have a harpoon, but the harpoon is filled with a deadly poison that quickly kills its prey.

Is this another meat-eating plant? No, it just looks like a plant. A tiny cactus, to be exact. That is the camouflage of this organism called the Hydra, which lives in freshwater ponds, streams, and lakes.

The hydra can regenerate tissue when injured or severed. This process is called morphallaxis.

Hydras are very strange creature indeed. Every cell in its tiny body is replaced every forty-five days. It can grow not only a new tentacle, of which it often has six, but it can grow a new head.

If a hydra’s head is cut the long way, down toward the neck, it will grow two new heads. It can even have six, seven, or eight heads all on the same body. There is also a green hydra that has algae living in its skin (that’s where the green comes from).

This hydra never really has to worry about going hungry. If it can’t find something to eat, it just nibbles away at the algae. This can’t happen too often, or the algae wouldn’t stay around, but it must be nice to have a “built-in” dinner.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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