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Bathocyroe fosteri is a species of lobate ctenophore found at intermediate depths in all the world's oceans. The species is very common and abundant near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It typically measures about two inches tall. It is bioluminescent. This deep-sea comb jelly is named for Alvin (DSV-2) pilot Dudley Foster, who collected the first specimens.
Life Cycle: Ctenophores reproduce sexually. Self-fertilization is somewhat rare and is known only to appear in the genus Mnemiopsis. A single species, Tjalfiella tristoma, is viviparous; that is, the young grow in a womb.
After the fertilized eggs have divided twice, the ctenophore's later body symmetry has already been set. They develop over a free-floating cydippea state, which looks very similar between all ctenophores and sometimes is labeled as a larva, although usually in reality it already represents a miniature version of what the creature will grow up to be. Among some extremely specialized groups, such as platyctenides, the cydippea and adult forms do, however, take separate ecological niches, so that the 'larva' label is more appropriate.
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