Jellyfish have been living among the oldest creatures of the Oceans for around 650 million years. As for different types of Jellyfish out there, you can say that they are endless! However to give an estimate of known species are about 1000-1500 worldwide.
1. Features of a Jellyfish
Given their transparent physical features, they are made of between 90-95% water, with the other 3-5% and 2-5% being salts and proteins. Jellyfish don’t generally have very long life span. They live from a minimum of a few months to at least 2-3 Years. What is fascinating is the fact that most species of are known to have regenerating properties which aids in prolonging their life span in different stages.
2. Largest Jellyfish Facts
The largest species to date that we know of are the Lion’s Mane (Cyanea Capillata). They say they can grow up to 2 meters wide and having tentacles up to 15 meters! Also the Nomura’s Jellyfish has the potential to grow up to 2 metres in diameter and also grows to weigh 220kg. It is also the one of the most weighted invertebrae species in the world.
3. Role in the ecosystem
What role do jellyfish play in the whole grand scheme of marine ecosystems you ask? Well jellyfish are considered to be top predators in the oceans. They feed on tiny organisms, an example of which could be fish larvae and eggs along with crustaceans and copepods. So one could say that not only are jellyfish predators of fish, but also compete alongside them for the same food as well!
4. Their stingers
The most interesting thing is getting to know how and why jellyfish sting… Along their tentacles they are laced with millions and millions of stinging cells which release venom into the tissue of the predator or prey when it comes into contact. Some jellyfish stings are harmless to human skin, however, most of them do pack a powerful and painful punch, while others are most certainly deadly.
Written by: Sarah Shaw