Marine Invertebrates I
Focus of our research in section Marine Invertebrates I is the phylum Porifera (sponges). Furthermore, the taxa Cnidaria (corals in particular), Tunicata (ascidians and salps) and Ctenophora (warty comb jellies) are part of our research collections.
Porifera and Cnidaria are the most original and also in the fossil record oldest animals. Today, they are widely distributed in all ecological zones of the World oceans; some representatives also colonized fresh water environments. For their taxonomical classification, beside outer characteristics such as form and color, mainly the morphology, structure and mineralogy of the skeleton are investigated. Increasingly also biochemical and molecular markers are used for taxonomy.