May 17, 2022

A nettle cell (nematocyst or cnidocyte) is a cell with a bladder-shaped structure containing a coiled nettle thread with a harpoon. The capsule of that nettle thread is filled with a paralyzing fluid. Nettle cells are found in cnidarians. Freshwater polyps have stinging cells with a hair on the outside. The stinging cell can be filled with poison and has a long hollow thread coiled in it. When the hair of the cell is touched, the thread shoots out of the cell like a harpoon and the poison runs away along the thread. The speed of the harpoon can reach 130 km per hour for a small moment. This paralyzes or kills small prey such as water fleas. The nematocyst is the vacuole in which the harpoon is present.

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