Skip to content

Explore Ascidians (Ascidiacea)

Ascidians begin life as free swimming tadpole-like larvae with a distinct notochord, similar to the early vertebrae in higher animals, and hence they are placed in the same major group of living things as us. After attaching to rocks, larvae of the large sea squirts like the Cunjevoi lose their tail, form two openings, and then obtain food by siphoning water in through one valve, filtering food from it, and then squirting the excess water out the other. Other ascidians are colonial with many individual zooids living together in a matrix, each with their own inhalant siphon and often sharing a common exhalant one.

Common Sea Squirts (Ascidians)