Chiropsalmus quadrumanus


Assembling the Cnidarian Tree of Life

Jo O'Keefe Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved. Photos may be used for educational purposes only. Contact me with inquiries.

On Sunset Beach, NC, 8/12/08
From Sunset Beach NC, 8/20/08

During several weeks in August, 2008, hundreds of Chiropsalmus quadrumanus washed ashore on beaches in North Carolina from Topsail Island above Wilmington to Sunset Beach near the NC/SC state line. Some were collected for research purposes.

Besides studying cubozoans such as Chiropsalmus quadrumanus shown above, reseearchers are involved in a far greater project, that is, assembling a Tree of Life for the Phyllum Cnidaria.

Most of the more than 11,000 species are corals, sea anemones and jellyfish. While they seem vastly different and have undergone major adaptations, they share a common evolutionary history.

You might be interested in visiting this additional website, one that chronicles one of the project's expeditions: