JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Adaptations

Jellyfish Adaptations picture

Jellyfish Adaptations

Jellyfish are bell shaped or umbrella shaped creatures that have adapted themselves very well for a life in water. Jelly like substance makes up most of its jellyfish body. They are beautiful creatures found in water that have been a subject of fascination for a lot of people.

It is made up of more than 90% water which helps it float easily in water. To protect themselves from predators, they have stinging cells. These stinging cells also can keep the jellyfish warm. They sting not just for defense but also for catching a prey. There are about 200 different species of jellyfish which have taken on different adaptation to suit the environment they live in such as warm, cold, shallow or deep sea.

They are free swimming creatures and have large tentacles to help them put their food in their mouth. Some jellyfish filter feed themselves, whereas some others feed on live animals by first killing them with their sting. The jellyfish sting usually immobilizes the prey which is then moved to the mouth with the tentacles and is then taken to the mouth and the food is then distributed to the rest of the body through canals that are radial.

For mobility, they use the muscles that line the margin of the bell to move up and down. These muscles contract and relax in order to move the jellyfish. The waves and currents help in their horizontal movement. While most of these jellyfish actively move around, some of them are found to passively float.

Some jellyfish have developed simple sense organs while some other have complex sense organs. One of the jellyfish found in northern seas can grow upto 6 feet across and have tentacles up to 100 ft. Another hydrozoan lives in colonies with tentacles the length of 60 feet and have developed a sac like gas filled structure which acts as a float. Learn more about jellyfish species.

The jellyfish have adapted themselves very well for life in marine as well as fresh water living. Though they don't have a complex digestive system like more evolved beings, they digest using their gastrodermal lining where nutrients are absorbed. They also don't require a respiratory system as the gas can diffuse through their extremely thin skin.

They do not even have a brain. They just have a loose network of nerves which form a nerve net which can detect stimuli like the touch of other organism. Jellyfish have light detecting organs which can help them decide which is the top of the ocean and which is the bottom using the light of the sun.

When the right temperature, ocean current, nutrients, and ambient oxygen is available, it result in a jellyfish bloom which will have a swarm of up to 100,000 jellyfish. Because of all this adaptations, they have successfully survived for thousands of years and are still found in plenty which could be because of the increase in nutrients in the water because of human influence.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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