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Facts: Everything You Need To Know About Jellyfish!
About Jellyfish: What are Jellyfish?
are gelatinous zooplankton from the
From an anatomical standpoint they are little more than a sac within a
Their body composition is 95% water. They do not have a brain, or even
central nervous system. They lack anything that remotely
resembles a skeletal system. Most jellyfish do not even have eyes.
Aside from eating, their only interaction
their immediate surroundings is the ability to distinguish between up
down, light from dark, or physical contact. Yet somehow their light
sensory abilities allow them
to perceive and maneuver around foreign objects.
About Jellyfish: How Old are Jellyfish?
are one of the
oldest non-extinct life
forms in existence. This should come as little surprise considering
just one step up the evolutionary ladder from single cell organisms.
fossils have been unearthed dating as far back as the Cambrian Period
million years ago. The
Cambrian Period predates not only the extinction
dinosaurs but their existence itself. These
mysterious creatures will probably be swimming
the Earth’s oceans long after mankind is gone.
About Jellyfish: Can
You Keep Jellyfish as Pets?
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jellyfish as pets is a new concept in the home
aquarium industry. It was, after all, only two decades ago that
exhibited in a public aquarium. Until then even the most knowledgeable
experts didn't know enough about jellyfish to keep them alive in
You can’t just walk into your
local pet shop
and buy a pet jellyfish aquarium. You can’t order a jellyfish
online fish suppliers. The idea of keeping jellyfish as pets falls, at
the moment, in the realm of specialty items. This is probably because
require an aquarium that was specifically designed to keep these
organisms alive and healthy. There is currently only a single
company that produces an affordable desktop jellyfish aquarium fish
tank, JellyfishArt. JellyfishArt also tank raises
their own Moon Jellyfish
to the general public so that you can actually purchase pet moon
jellyfish to stock your jellyfish aquarium with.
Fact: Is it Difficult to Keep Jellyfish Alive in
just a few short decades ago
scientist did not
possess the technological expertise to keep jellyfish alive in
are 95% water. They
be liquefied instantly if
sucked into a conventional water filtration system. Jellyfish can not
be housed in a traditional square
They will get stuck in the corners and lack the higher brain
to get out. If there is not a flow of turbulence in the water, they are
to the equivalent of a bowl of jello. Keeping a jellyfish in a home
was unthinkable. There was not a single jellyfish exhibit in a public
anywhere in the world.
were first displayed in a public aquarium just over twenty years ago in
Monterey California. This
feat was made possible by the pioneering work of German oceanographer,
Dr. Greve invented a circular aquarium that circulated
horizontal circular pattern. He dubbed his invention the Kreisel
carousel) tank. This revolutionary aquarium was originally designed for
study of arctic plankton. The tank’s circular design and
pushed the plankton away from the aquarium’s outer perimeter
and toward the
center of the tank. This technological breakthrough was essential in
jellyfish alive in a manmade environment.
Jellyfish: Do Jellyfish Really Glow in the Dark?
to any large public aquarium and you will
watch exotic varieties of jellyfish fading almost hypnotically from one
to another. While it is nothing short of mesmerizing to observe a
you are watching an orchestrated light show. Since most jellyfish are
transparent or translucent in appearance, this beautiful display of
is nothing more than light passing through the jellyfish’s
membranes. They are
not actually glowing. So the question remains do jelly fish really glow
dark? And the answer is yes; well sort of.
True jellyfish belong to the class Scyphozoa a
subdivision of the phylum Cnidaria. No true jellyfish actually glows in
dark. There are two species of jellyfish like organisms within the
Cnidaria that are bioluminescent depending on how strict a definition
applied to the term bioluminescent. Although they are not really
are commonly referred to as comb jellyfish and crystal jellyfish.
Bioluminescence is the scientific term used to describe the chemical
through which an organism actually produces and emits light. Fire flies
from Another Planet Video
jellyfish do not require a fancy light show to produce
their very own disco display. They are not, however, bioluminescent.
simply appear to be. Comb jellies are from an entirely different class
(Ctenophora) than jellyfish. One of the defining parameters of what
a jellyfish is the way in which it achieves locomotion. True jellyfish
by expanding and contracting their hydroskeletons to create a kind of
jet propulsion. Mobility in comb jellyfish is achieved by the rabid
thousands of tiny oars distributed over 8 rows of legs extending from
main body. These legs are called combs, hence the name comb
creatures propel themselves through the water by
beating their combs against the water in sequence. The combs are highly
refractive. Even in lower light settings comb jellyfish give the
producing their own disco light show. Scientists speculate that this
light display acts to entice the natural curiosity of potential prey.
Jellyfish Does Glow in the Dark?
|Crystal jellyfish come closer to
glowing in the dark than any
other jellyfish. Although crystal jellyfish (Aequorea victoria) are not
actually jellyfish either. Aequorea victoria are from the class
subdivision of the phylum Cnidaria which includes their close
true jellyfish. Nor do crystal jellyfish actually bioluminescence. They
fluoresce. The illusion of biochemical light emission is produced by a
combination of two molecules; aequorin and green fluorescent protein
produces brilliant neon green fluorescence when exposed to light in the
blue or purple spectrums.
been isolated by scientist and is being used in cellular
protein Dr. Zhiyuan Gong and his
colleagues at the
Singapore incorporated into the genome of zebra danio eggs to create
immensely popular freshwater aquarium fish, the Glofish.
Further experimentation has progressed to the incorporation of this
mammals and most recently primates. It should be noted that none of
genetically engineered animals actually glow in the dark. They will,
fluoresce under a backlight.
Jellyfish have specialized organelles called nematocysts.
These cells are full
of venom and are present on the tips of a jellyfish’s
tentacles. The stinging
triggered by touch. When triggered, the pressure in the nematocysts
to 2000 lbs. per square inch causing a microscopic lance to be ejected
the jelly venom. A typical jellyfish contains millions of these
Jellyfish do not actually attack humans. Their sting is nothing more
than an autonomic
response. This response serves the dual purpose being a self-defensive
as well as paralyzing a jellyfish’s prey.
Jellyfish: Are Jellyfish Stings Deadly?
depends on which
jellyfish you are stung by.
Depending on the species in question, jellyfish stings range in
imperceptible to human beings to certain death without immediate
treatment. Most jellyfish stings are more akin to a bee sting than
life threatening. It should be noted that each individual reacts
a metabolic level to invasive toxins. Bee stings are little more than a
to most people but there are those who must seek medical attention due
potentially life threatening allergic reactions to bee venom.
The Sea Wasp holds the
World Heavy Weight Championship title
in that arena. The sea wasp is one of twenty species of
collectively referred to as box jellyfish because they have a box-like
than an umbrella shaped bell. Sea wasps invade the northern shores of Australia annually. This
incursion into shallow waters begins at the onset of the rainy season
November and typically runs through to the end of May. Some
nets put in place prior to this annual invasion in an attempt to
goers from these deadly creatures. Other beaches are closed entirely.
jellyfish are one of the deadliest creatures on Earth.
An adult sea wasp carries enough venom to kill 60 full grown adults.
occur in as little as 2-3 minutes depending on the number and severity
stings. This is quicker than any insect, spider or snake known to man.
Approximately 1,000 people are stung by sea wasps annually resulting in
have been over 5,500 casualties since the
Australian government started keeping records of sea wasp fatalities in
victims swimming in deeper waters
frequently die from drowning or cardiac arrest before they are able to
back to shore or their boat. All life guards on Australia's
northern beaches are
equipped with box jellyfish anti-venom kits. Survivors of box jellyfish
describe the pain as excruciating. Secondary mortality symptoms
respiratory paralysis, neuromuscular paralysis, and cardiovascular
While box jellyfish
may hold the title for being
the deadliest creature in the world, pound for pound Irukandji
jellyfish are even
deadlier. For generations, the Irukandji aborigines spoke of a
presence in Australian waters that brings unspeakable pain. Irukandji
was first documented by Hugo Flecker in 1952. There are at least six
jellyfish capable of producing Irukandji syndrome. The first of these
Carukia barnesi, was discovered in 1964 by Dr. Jack Barnes. This
smaller than his finger nail.
that he had just found the creature responsible for the mysterious
the coasts of Autraila that he
himself, his son and
lifeguard on duty. All three had to be hospitalized for Irukandji
jellyfish venom is 100 times more potent than cobra venom and 1,000
powerful than that of a tarantula. An anti-venom
has yet to be developed for Irukandji syndrome. Doctors are helpless to
the toxin from spreading in sting victims. They can only threat the
the venom and hope the patient lives through the agonizing experience.
box jellies or Irukanji jellyfish are actual
jellyfish. They are members of the class Cobozoa one of the four
within the phylum Cnidaria which also contains Scyphozoa or what is
known as "true jellyfish."
Jellyfish: How do you Treat Jellyfish Stings?
popular belief, urinating on a jellyfish sting is not the best
treatment. In fact, you may only succeed in making the problem worse.
stingers remain embedded in the skin, just like a bee’s
stinger. The first step
is to deactivate the stingers to prevent additional venom from entering
victim’s system. Dosing the area with vinegar is the best way
jellyfish venom and prevent nematocysts from being triggered.
|If vinegar is
anything with a high
acid content can be used instead. Rinse the
stings thoroughly with sea
no acidic compounds are available. DO NOT use freshwater.
will activate any unfired
nematocysts and result in the further release of venom.
jellyfish stingers. This can be accomplished by rubbing the skin
with sand or scraping the skin with a dull, flat object. NEVER ALLOW
hands to come in contact with the stingers. Use a
towel or gloves.
immediate medical treatment. Lifeguards are equipped with emergency
kits and the proper training to treat indigenous jellyfish stings. If
medical assistance is not available watch the victim for: shortness of
wheezing, tightening of the throat, flushed skin, weakness, nausea, or
dizziness until help arrives. These may be signs of the onset
anaphylactic shock, which is potentially life threatening.
Learn the Proper
to Treat a Jellyfish Sting
Watch Dr. Mike Leahy
Sting Himself with a Box Jellyfish on Purpose!
About Jellyfish: What
is the World’s Largest Jellyfish?
largest known jellyfish species is the Arctic lion’s main
jellyfish followed closely by Nomura’s jellyfish off the
coasts of China
The largest lion’s mane ever
officially documented washed up on the shoreline of Massachusetts Bay
in 1870. Its bell measured 7.5 feet (2.28 meters) in diameter
and its tentacles stretched to a length of 120 feet (36.5 meters).
been claims of larger jellyfish being discovered since then but none
officially documented. This photo has been circulating the internet
is a fake, probably somebody’s idea of fun playing with their
This pictures a Nomura's Jellfish at 5 times its actual size.
|There is a widely held
misconception that the
Portuguese man o’ war is the largest known jellyfish. The
Portuguese man o’ war
is also not an actual jellyfish. It is a massive colony of 1,000,000s
Hydrozoa functioning in unison as a single organism. Hydrozoa are the
class of the phylum Cnidaria.