Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Upside-down Jellyfish


 

The Cassiopea xamachana, also known as the Upside-down Jellyfish, can be found in Bermuda, throughout the entire Caribbean Sea, and some of the warm western areas in the Atlantic Ocean. It can be found on the muddy bottoms of inshore bays and ponds, and is most commonly seen in Bermuda in Walsingham Pond. The Upside-down Jellyfish tend to stay in shallow areas saturated with sunlight because they live on the sea floor with large portions of their carbon and nutrition coming from their zooxanthellae.




Something unique about this jellyfish is how it sits on the bottom floor with its tentacles raised above it, unlike any other jellyfish. Also, they reproduce sexually in one part of their life and asexually in another part. Upside-down jellyfish have more than 40 mini mouth openings.  They are invertebrates and their bodies are 95% water, 3% salt, and 2% protein.  Upside-down jellies usually lie on the bottom of the water and are commonly mistaken for the sea anemone.  They have a sting, but it isn't very poisonous or deadly. Also,  they don't sting very often. Symbiotic algae living in the jellyfish's body produce oxygen; this allows the jellyfish to survive in oxygen-poor water. 



Currently, the Upside-down jellyfish is not an endangered species

Another interesting fact about the Upside-down Jelly is that it starts out as a free swimming organism, and as soon as it reached 2 centimeters, it inverts its bell and goes to the bottom of the water where it lands upside-down.




I chose to research this jellyfish because of its unusual behavior and odd appearance. Also, i find all jellyfish to be fascinating because not much is known about all the different kinds of jellies.

- Victoria Mehlhaff -



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