Identify Jellyfish












There are about 200 species of jellyfish worldwide, and one can easily learn to identify them. There are new species being found also and they have been classified and described in detail. The jellyfish is a delicate marine creature, which comes in varied sizes and colors. It has a gelatinous bell or umbrella shaped body, with tentacles dangling underneath. They are radically symmetrical and has no left or right side. 

Jellyfish are more than 90% water and do not have much solid substance. Still many creatures prey on them, and they do make a filling meal. One of the main features of a jellyfish are its stinging cells which are found in its tentacles. These cells inflict rashes, stinging pain and burns in varying degrees, depending upon the species of the jellyfish. These stinging cells are manufactured at an amazing rate by the jellyfish, and are used as dispensable tools. The skin of the tentacle is studded with these cells and they can be triggered when anything brushes against them. These cells will puncture the skin and release the toxin. 

It is interesting to know the different types of jellyfish and observe their different colors and sizes. The blue jellyfish has a nasty sting, and its color varies from a deep blue to pale white. Its bell body can reach up to 2 meters in diameter and its tentacles can be 5 meters long. It is very hard to detect as its color blends with the sea. It swims quite actively to catch its prey by letting its tentacles and out and drawing them back again. 

There are many types of sea nettle jellyfish, and the Chrysaora hyoscella is one of them. It is also called the brown jellyfish, and is 30 centimeters across. It has about 24 brown tentacles that grow up to 2 meters in length. It has an additional frilly looking four tentacles that are longer than the others and look like a bridal trail. Most sea nettles are considered to have a very potent sting and in some the sting is mortal and cause death within seconds. 

The most commonly found jellyfish is the Aurelia aurita or the moon jelly. It is considered harmless, as its sting is unable to penetrate the human skin. The disc shaped body is about 20 centimeters in diameter, and has lots of small tentacles hanging from its rim. There are four feeding tentacles that are longer, which surrounds its mouth. It has also four earlobes on top which are its gonads and are a favourite food of other fishes. 

Another harmless jellyfish is the Rhizostoma octopus or the sea mushroom jelly. This jellyfish has eight "legs" which are covered with a network of mouths that catch particles of food. There are no trailing tentacles, in this jellyfish. 

While in the water it is always advisable to have a sharp lookout for jellyfish, as many can give a nasty sting. Most of them are very hard to detect as they have transparent bodies made of over 95% water. When you see tentacles trailing from the body, you can be sure it is a jellyfish.
Normen FAdel
Author of the article
writer and blogger, founder of jellyfish .

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