As we have said before, jellyfish are one of the oldest animals in the ocean, they have drifted along ocean currents for millions and millions of years. But because they generally dwell in the ocean’s deeper realms, there are still species that scientists have only just begun to understand

Contrary to what their name suggests, jellyfish aren’t fish; rather, they’re brainless, bloodless and boneless invertebrates  creatures that propel themselves through the water column by expanding and contracting their bells.

They come in various shapes,sizes, and behaviors. Smaller species of jellyfish are often seen on beaches, but the largest jellyfish are rarely spotted by the common observer.

This is the case of the lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata), also called the giant kellyfish or the hair jelly, recognized as the biggest jellyfish in the world.

It gets its name from its dense mass of long, dangling tentacles that resemble a lion’s mane. The largest known specimen stretches 36.5 meters from the top to the bottom of its tentacles.

It inhabits the cold waters of the arctic, North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. Typically identify with a light to deep orange or crimson colour, but can also be yellow, tan, rose, violet or even white. Their body is bell shaped and it can grown to as much as 2.5 metres in diameter!

They also have eight groups of 70 to 150 tentacles. Depending on the size of the individual, these tentacles can range from nine to just over 36 metres in length.Wich allows them to capture plankton as they drift and attract small fishes via their bioluminescence.

However, the lion’s mane jellyfish has its predators. Seabirds, larger fish and sea turtles tend to attack juveniles specimens, although both adults and juveniles have been documented eaten by anemones.

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‘Till the next Jellinformation!

 

January 22, 2021 — AN PHIL