Hannah is one of our marine students here in Coco Beach. She is 11 years old and goes to Lakeside International. This week she focused her study on the wild and illusive jellyfish that roam our oceans worldwide. The term Jellyfish is French, and has been associated with the swimming animal due to its spineless body and jelly like appearance.
Hannah explained to us that the term Jellyfish has two meanings, one meaning is actually an insult, meaning spineless and weak-willed. Although, this term is not often used . The other meaning is defined as a swimming marine coelenterate with a jellylike bell- or saucer-shaped body that is typically transparent and has stinging tentacles around the edge.
The life cycle of the Jelly starts with the release of spores or planula larva that attach themselves to rocks or plants and grow to become a polyp. The polyp then turns into a budding polyp that appears similar to a flower. After it reaches the end of the budding cycle it detaches itself and becomes an ephyra . The chances of a ephyra growing to the next stage of life are slim due to environmental factors. Ephyra slowly grows and is known in simpler terms as a baby jellyfish. Once fully grown, the Jelly has no gender.
Hannah recalls that unlike the episode of Spongebob where jellyfish are caught like butterflies and milked for their gel, this is not the truth.
Hannah gave us a list of facts:
- A jellyfish invertebrate has no brain, it has stinging tentacles and is a carnivore.
- A group of jellyfish is referred to as a “smack”or “bloom”.
- If a jellyfish is cut in two, the jellyfish can regenerate and create two new organisms.
- If they are injured they can clone themselves and create hundreds of new spores.
- An experiment done in Dallas, Texas proved that Jellyfish actually eat peanut butter and accept it as a useful protein so technically the Jelly became a “PB&J”. 🙂
- It floats with grace and maintains perfect buoyancy delicately sifting through the sea.
- Plastic bags resemble the Jelly fish, which is a big threat to turtles and other creatures that feed from them.
- The creature is very interesting and once closely observed, it looks as if it is from a different planet.
- Some scientists say that Jellyfish have the strength in numbers to take over the ocean.
Thank you Hannah for your research and useful information about the Jelly!
Our Marine science program is for kids starting at the age of 8. Every Wednesday afternoon from 3.30 to 5 pm.