Posted in Animals, Student Posts

Jellyfish

Sea Nettle Wayne Hsieh via Compfight

Imagine you are a jellyfish. You are drifting along in the current when suddenly, you are captured in a net, you start to shrivel up. What do you do? Stop imagining. I’m Donovan, and I’m going to tell you about jellyfish.

What are jellyfish?

Actually, in spite of the name “jellyfish” They aren’t even fish, but cnidarians. They are also invertebrates. This means they have no bones or shells. They are related to coral and sea anemones. The weird substance that builds the jellyfish isn’t jelly. It’s called mesoglea a.k.a ectoplasm.

What are some kinds of jellyfish?

The Atolla jellyfish, also called Coronate medusa, is a deep-sea jelly found around the world. Like many species of animals dwelling in the deep, it has bioluminescent abilities. But unlike many species that use bioluminescence to attract prey, this species uses it to keep from becoming prey.   When an Atolla jellyfish is attacked, it will create a series of flashes that spin like the lights of a police siren. This draws in more predators that will hopefully be interested in the original attacker more than the jellyfish, giving the jellyfish opportunity to escape.

This strategy has given the species the nickname the “alarm jellyfish.”

It’s Darth Vader! Oh, wait… That’s just a Narcomedusae. This unusual looking species of jellyfish has not one but two stomach pouches. To fill those pouches with plenty of prey, it will hold its long tentacles out in front of it while it swims. Researchers think this makes them a more effective ambush predator.

According to Creature Cast, “Some species of Narcomedusae (affectionately called narcos by the people that study them) can grow inside their own mother, who provides nourishment and a safe environment for her. The narco babies can then leave their mother, find another jellyfish of an entirely different species, attach to its flesh, and thrive on the nourishment and safe environment it provides.”

The lion’s mane jellyfish is not only the largest jelly species in the world, but it also harbors a powerful sting that it uses to catch its prey. Most humans have little to fear from this ferocious jelly, but its poison is more than enough to scare away enemies, thus creating a safe space for both the jelly and other species that are lucky enough to be immune to the toxin.

If I saw a jellyfish at the beach or bay, what species is it?

I’ve seen jellyfish at the bay, and I poked them with a stick let me tell you, there were a lot of them.They are moon jellies. Also, sometimes you can find sailor jellyfish at la jolla shores. I wouln’t be surprised if they were planning an invasion.

 

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