Fission, also called binary fission, occurs in some invertebrate, multi-celled organisms. It is in some ways analogous to the process of binary fission of single-celled prokaryotic organisms. The term fission is applied to instances in which an organism appears to split itself into two parts and, if necessary, regenerate the missing parts of each new organism. For example, species of turbellarian flatworms commonly called the planarians, such as Dugesia dorotocephala, are able to separate their bodies into head and tail regions and then regenerate the missing half in each of the two new organisms. Sea anemones (Cnidaria), such as species of the genus Anthopleura (Figure 18.2), will divide along the oral- aboral axis, and sea cucumbers (Echinodermata) of the genus Holothuria,will divide into two halves across the oral-aboral axis and regenerate the other half in each of the resulting individuals.
Figure 18.2 The Anthopleura artemisia sea anemone can reproduce through fission.