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Temporal range:
late Ediacaran to present
Stony corals
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
A stony coral in its natural habitat
Giant green anemone, Southern California

Anthozoa are a class in the phylum Cnidaria. It includes the sea anemones and the corals.

The class does not have a medusa larval stage in its development, unlike the rest of the phylum. Like all Cnidaria, their food-catching and defence make use of nematocysts, which are extremely effective stinging cells. Over 6,100 species have been described.[1][2]

There are three subclasses:


  1. Crowther A.L. (2011). Class Anthozoa Ehrenberg, 1834. In Z.-Q. Zhang. "Animal biodiversity: an outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness". Zootaxa 3148: 19–23.
  2. note:estimates of species numbers differ between authorities.
  3. Daly, M. et al 2007. The phylum Cnidaria: a review of phylogenetic patterns and diversity 300 years after Linnaeus. Zootaxa 1668: 1–766.