Jellyfish really are amongst the most beautiful and fascinating creatures of the marine kingdom. They are the longest living species in the world. They have existed for over 650 million years since even before the dinosaurs! What makes this surprising is that jellyfish are also amongst the most fragile creatures in the world.

The body of a jellyfish is 95% water and only 5% solid organic matter. It is completely dependent on the currents of the water to stay suspended. It is also dependent on water to acquire its food. While jellyfish can move upwards by thrusting water from under its body, it is entirely dependent on the tides and currents of the water. Its body is so fragile that contact with a hard substance can hurt it or even kill it.

Did you know that jellyfish do not even have a brain? Nor do they have any specialized system for any bodily functions like metabolism, circulation, etc. They have very rudimentary systems for digestion and procreation. They have an elementary nervous system that helps them survive in the wild. The nerve receptacles on their tentacles and oral arms not only sense external stimuli, but also react to it. Hence, when the tentacle comes in contact with an object, venom is automatically injected through the numerous nematocysts that line their tentacles or oral arms. So, how come creatures are simple and fragile as these have managed to survive for such a long time? What abilities of the jellyfish have allowed them survive in changing environmental conditions?

Jellyfish have the ability to reproduce asexually when posed with threat. When they feel threatened, jellyfish release a large number of polyps into the water. Under appropriate conditions, these polyps will become tine jellyfish and make a new swarm. Any threat that could have potentially destroyed the jellyfish ends up giving rise to a whole new swamp of jellyfish instead. This survival mechanism has enabled jellyfish to survive potentially life threatening threats and multiply in great numbers even in adverse conditions.

On the other hand, the simplicity of their bodies helps them survive difficult situation. Because they are not dependent on light to hunt and eat their food, the growing darkness in the ocean caused by human pollution doesn't affect them as badly as it does other light dependent creatures.

The ability of the jellyfish to survive in water with low oxygen content has also allowed them to survive the changing composition of the ocean. Human activity has caused enormous damage to the oceans including depleting the oxygen level in the waters. While this condition is detrimental to most living creatures in the water, jellyfish thrive in them and procreate rapidly.

Global warming has caused temperatures across the world rise significantly, even in the oceans. The ability of the jellyfish to not only adapt to it, but also thrive in it has caused its numbers to rise in the recent past. While most species are battling depletion and risking extinction, the ability of the jellyfish to adapt to its environment is the secret to its long survival.
Normen FAdel
Author of the article
writer and blogger, founder of jellyfish .

New of label : Jellyfish Adaptations and Abilities

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