Jellyfish- The Careless Beauties of the Sea

Updated: Jan 23


Jellyfish are amazing and beautiful creatures found around the world. Each jellyfish is different in their own way whether that be size or color. There are around 20 types of jellyfish in the sea all having dome shaped bodies and stringy tentacles trailing down the official term is oral arms. Almost all jellyfishes are 95% water making them invertebrates, an invertebrate is an animal that doesn't have a backbone like snails and slugs. Jellyfishes often catch prey like copepods, fish larvae, and other small animals in their tentacles that have stinging cells. Stinging cells are called nematocysts ,they use the cells when in danger and when they are hunting for prey. Some examples of these amazing creatures are the Black Sea nettle jellyfish, mangrove box jellyfish, atolla jellyfish, and the moon jellyfish.


The Black Sea nettle jellyfish

Scientific name: Chrysaora achlyos



Photo credit: https://www.aquarium of pacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/black_sea_nettle

The Black Sea nettle jellyfish can be found in Southern California and northern Mexican oceans whether that be in bays, deep waters, calm coastal water or on the beach. It’s varieties depending on the weather and currents. The bell of the Black Sea nettle jelly can grow up to a diameter of 3.3 feet and the jelly’s tentacles can grow up to 25 feet. They often eat fish eggs, other smaller jellyfishes and copepods. This is a recently discovered species , it was first discovered in 1997 in eastern California. The sea nettle isn’t very dangerous but can still leave discomfort on the skin for some. The Black Sea nettle jellyfish are considered rare and not much is known about them, they remain a mystery to many.


The mangrove box jellyfish

Specific name: Tripedalia cystophora



photo credit: http://raisingpetjellyfish.blogspot.com/2014/08/mangrove-box-jellyfish.html


The mangrove box jellyfish can be found in coastal waters throughout Mexico and Puerto Rico. They are very small compared to many jellyfishes. These jellyfishes only grow up to 0.5 inches in diameter. The box jellyfishes are usually very dangerous and can risk death. The mangroves are very harmless, so harmless in fact many people keep these jellyfishes as pets. In the wild the mangrove box jellyfishes eat copepods, or plankton. The jellyfish prefer water at 70-80 Fahrenheit.


Atolla jellyfish

Scientific name: Coronate medusa



Photo credit: https://www.elmundo.es/albumes/2007/10/19/albun_ciencia_191007/index_5.html

The atolla jellyfish lives deep into the ocean specifically in the midnight zone. The diameter of the bell is around 6 inches and the length of their tentacles is around 12 feet long which they use to catch prey. Some of the prey they capture are crustaceans. Like other deep sea jellyfish the atolla jellyfish has a natural deep red hue. When the atolla jellyfish is attacked by a predator it becomes bioluminescent and flashes bright blue light from its body. This light scares the predator and it becomes disinterested in the atolla jellyfish. The blue light gives the atolla jellyfish the nickname “ alarm jelly”. Some of the predators of the atolla jellyfish are segmented worms, amphipods, fish and humans.


Moon jellyfish

scientific name : Aurelia aurita



Photo credit: https://images.app.goo.gl/LAYbDHyeCMHZnFZm8


The moon jellyfish has a 10 inch translucent bell depending on the diet of the moon jellyfish the bell can come in different varieties of colors like white, pink, blue, or purple. The moon jelly has short fringes that have stinging cells harmful to humans and animals. The habitat of the moon jellyfish is topical oceans around the world but it’s most common in North America and Europe. The moon jellyfish often eats zooplankton, including protozoa, eggs, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. The jellyfish can often be seen living very solitary lives but when coming across other moon jellies they communicate with chemicals released into the water. Moon jellyfish are very common.


Fun facts:

  1. Jellyfish aren’t fish at all. In reality they are considered part of the Scyphozoa class.

  2. Over 60,000 jellyfish have been in space. As an experiment 2000 jellyfishes were launched into space to test how they would react to the lack of the gravity during their time in space they created 60,000 more jellyfish.

  3. Some box jellies perform a mating dance.

  4. Some jellyfish are delicacies in parts of Asia, and are edible.

  5. Jellies have been known to eat other jellies.


The Black Sea nettle jellyfishes sources: https://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/black_sea_nettle

https://www.exoticaquaculture.com/black-sea-nettle

The mangrove box jellyfishes source: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/animals-a-to-z/mangrove-box-jelly

https://jellyfishwarehouse.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/how-to-care-for-your-pet-mangrove-box-jellyfish/

Atolla jellyfish sources: http://adayinthedeep.weebly.com/atolla-jellyfish.html

https://twilightzone.whoi.edu/explore-the-otz/creature-features/atolla-jellyfish/

Moon jellyfish:

https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/animals-a-to-z/moon-jelly

https://www.thoughtco.com/moon-jellyfish-4692397




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