Marine Biology

Types of Jellyfish



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When someone says the word “jellyfish”, chances are that you think of a floating pink, electric blob with lots of dangling “tentacles”. Well, there are far more than just one generic kind of jellyfish. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. In fact, there are around 1,500 different kinds of jellyfish species that have been discovered!

Since there is such a vast number of different kinds of jellyfish, it is impossible to discuss each one here. So, instead, here is a sampling of some of the most common and interesting kinds of jellyfish:

 Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)

 The moon jellyfish is the most common kind of jellyfish. It has a translucent body and lives in tropical areas. They typically live in waters that range from 40° F to 70° F.

Blue Jellyfish (Cyanea lamarcki)

The blue Jellyfish is a common jellyfish that is capable of stinging. It has tentacles that float down from the top of the jellyfish that can be up to 5 meters long!

Sea Mushroom Jellyfish (Rhizostoma octopus)

This is a harmless jellyfish that actually has eight legs that have mouths attached which catch food for the jellyfish to eat.

Sand Jellyfish (Rhopilema asamushi or also known as Rhopilema esculenta):

This jellyfish gets its name from its skin’s rough, somewhat sand-like appearance. This kind of jellyfish also is unique because it doesn’t appear to have any color, it is just a clear white – most other jellyfish have some sort of pigmentation in them, giving them a color.

Sea Wasp Jellyfish/Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri)

This four-eyed kind of jellyfish can release harmful venom at enemies in its way. It gets its name (box jellyfish) because of its square and cube-like shape.

Portuguese Man of War (Physalia physalis)

This kind of jellyfish isn’t even really a jellyfish at all (although it still is technically considered one)! It is actually made up of four different polyps. Each separate (yet connected) polyp has its own duties, which help benefit the organism as a whole. The Portuguese Man of War is also capable of stinging and causing pain upon its victims.

Upside Down Jellyfish (Cassiopeia xamachana)

This kind of jellyfish gets its name due to the reason that it stays mostly upside down. Because of this, it can sometimes be mistaken for underwater plant life instead. In its environment, the upside down jellyfish and algae cooperate with and help one another, forming a symbiotic relationship.

Jellyfish can live all over the world in a variety of habitats. These interesting creatures sure are unique, with each separate species different in its own way!

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