Today is World Jellyfish Day!
Among the most extraordinary animals on Earth, jellyfish are some of the most ancient animals that are still alive and thriving in our oceans today. With an evolutionary history, they've been around for more than 650 million years, and there are thousands of different species, with more species being discovered all the time.
Despite the word 'fish' in their names, jellyfish are not actually fish - they are invertebrates. Besides their lack of bones, jellyfish also lack a brain and heart. Instead, they have a network of nerves, but no central nervous system. Blending in with their environment, jellyfish are 95% water and the other 5% is made up of structural proteins, muscles, and nerve cells. They have six major body parts; epidermis, gastrodermis, mesoglea, gastrovascular cavity, orifice and tentacles. Click here to learn more.
Jellyfish are brainless beauties and are one of mother nature’s strangest wonders. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has the largest jellyfish collection in the world! They support and help us understand the life cycles and growing condition of jellies all over the world. Experience the wonder of the ocean and tune into this aquarium’s live cam.
Fast Facts: Jellyfish
- They are members of the phylum Cnidaria, (from the Greek word for "stinging nettle").
- Their common name is jellyfish or jellies.
- They can weigh under an ounce to 440 pounds.
- Jellyfish are omnivores.
- A group of jellyfish can be referred to as a bloom, smack or swarm and can contain over 100,000 of them.
- Jellyfish can be clear/translucent or have a vibrant array of one or more colors.
- Some are bioluminescent, which means they can produce their own light.
- A jellyfish only has one opening, which is used as its mouth to eat food, discard waste and squirt out water to propel itself.
Want to read more about these amazing creatures? Learn about their habitat, behavior and diet here.