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Photograph of an anemone
Anthozoa is a class in the phylum Cnidaria that includes the sea anemones, corals, sea pens and sea fans. Unlike other cnidarians, anthozoans exist only as polyps: their life cycle has no medusoid stage.

There are both solitary and colonial forms, but all anthozoans are sessile and exclusively marine. They inhabit a wide range of environments from the intertidal zone to the deep ocean trenches. Those that secrete skeletons, particularly corals, have a rich fossil record.

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Author: Ben Kotrc
Last updated: 21 November 2005
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