A Qualitative and Quantitative Inventory of Nervous Cells in Hydra Attenuata Pall

  • Pierre Tardent
  • Christian Weber


The nervous system of Hydra (Athecatae, Hydridae) is, as has been shown by Hadzà (1909), an elementary network of loosely interconnected neurons and other cells believed to be of sensory nature (Burnett and Diehl, 1964; Davis, Burnett and Haynes, 1968; Haynes, Burnett and Davis, 1968; Lentz, 1966; Lentz and Barrnett, 1965 et al.). In spite of the absence of a morphologically definable center of coordination it endows the polyp with a surprisingly rich behavioural pattern (Haug, 1933; Haase-Eichler, 1931; Passano and McCullough, 1962, 1963, 1964; Rushforth, 1971, 1973; Tardent and Frei, 1969; et al.). This behaviour is motivated by 2 fundamentally different components: One is the “spontaneous contraction-extension activity” which is controlled by 2 pace-maker centers, one of which is situated in the hypostome, the other in the stalk of the polyp (McCullough, 1962, 1965; Passano, 1962; Passano and McCullough, 1963, 1964, 1965). The other component consists of dynamic reactions to external stimuli such as light, chemicals or mechanical stimuli (Haug, 1933; Feldman and Lenhoff, 1960; Passano and McCullough, 1962; Rushforth, Burnett and Maynard, 1963; Singer, 1963; Tardent and Frei, 1969; Frei, 1973 et al.).


Nerve Cell Cytoplasmic Process Axial Distribution Nervous Cell Photic Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Tardent
    • 1
  • Christian Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoological InstituteUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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