Just What Is A Jellyfish?

Jellyfish Facts

Have you wondered what exactly is a jellyfish? You know the slimy blobs you see on the beach?  When you start learning some jellyfish facts, you realize they are really cool creatures. So let’s dive in (and yes, pun intended!)

So what is a jellyfish, anyway? Well, I’m not really sure as they have no brains, no heart and no blood. Plus no bones. They are 95% water. Wow, this gets really weird. And they are not fish.

 

jellyfish factsJellyfish are over 95% water. Hmmm.

jellyfish factsJellyfish have no brains, heart or blood

Is A Jellyfish An Animal?

Webster’s dictionary says a jellyfish is “A free-swimming marine coelenterate that is the sexually reproducing form of a hydrozoan or scyphozoan”. Ok, it is all making sense! Not!

And is a jellyfish an animal or plant? Hmmm, they are actually a carnivorous animal which many scientists call “gelatinous zooplankton”.

They have lived in the oceans for millions of years, long before dinosaurs, drifting along in the ocean currents. 

 

Do All Jellyfish Sting?

If you have ever been stung by a jellyfish, you know how much it hurts. In some cases, the venom can kill you. But not all jellyfish sting. And some things that sting like a Portuguese man of war are not even a jellyfish. Wow, this gets complicated. 

jellyfish facts                              A Portuguese Man of War which is not a jellyfish!

Why Are Jellyfish Important?

If you love sea turtles, jellyfish are one of their favorite foods. Many oceanic animals eat them. Some people consider them a delicacy to eat but we would not be in that camp!

Another interesting jellyfish fact is the way they protect small fish. Think about their tenacles. A great place to hide (as long as you don’t get eaten) from the bigger fish.

Fortunately, jellyfish have adapted to changing climate, pollution and human activities. They are actually one of the few animals thriving in today’s conditions.

jellyfish factsSea turtles love to eat jellyfish.

jellyfish facts Help scientists by reporting your sightings of jellyfish.

Resources

Jellywatch. Become a citizen scientist by reporting your sightings of jellyfish. You will be helping scientists study these fascinating creatures.

12 astonishing facts about jellyfish by Mother Nature Network. Learn why some jellyfish are immortal and which one is the most toxic (enough venom to kill 80 people).

How Do Jellyfish Eat? by AnimalHow. Did you know jellyfish poop and eat from the same opening?  

Jellyfish 101 a video by National Geographic. A cool 4-minute video with beautiful footage.

 

 

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