Hydra – Metazoa
The animals of phyla Cnidaria and Ctenophora are made up of only two germ layers: ectoderm which forms the outer covering of the animal and endoderm which is the inner layer and is also known as the gastroderm. However, a non-cellular jelly like substance mesoglea is present between ectoderm and endoderm which acts as a cement to bind the two layers. This layer should not be confused with the third germ layer i.e. mesoderm. Since animals of these two phyla do not have mesoderm, they are said to be diploblastic.
Figure: L.S. Hydra
If we cut a longitudinal section through 'Hydra we see two distinct layers bound together by a non-cellular mesoglea. The two germ layers give rise to many different cell types - as evident from figure. Rest of the animals (platyhelminths to mammals) are all made up of three germ layers viz. ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm. These animals are triploblastic. If we cut a section say through a horse (a mammal and triploblastic) can we expect to see three layers like you see two layers in diploblastic Hydra? No we will net, because these three germ layers do not .remain as such, they differentiate and modify to give rise to different structures and organs in the body of the horse. The three layers will be distinct only during early embryology. Hence we call them the embryonic layers or the germ layers.