JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Endangered

Jellyfish Endangered picture

Jellyfish Endangered

Jellyfish have been around for thousands of years, and have been known to exist even before the dinosaurs. The jellyfish is a fascinating marine animal that inhabits all the oceans of the world and there are certain types, which are found in fresh waters like lakes and rivers. There are 200 known species of jellyfish, and few new types have been discovered recently.

The jellyfish which live in saline waters are multiplying at an alarming rate and are nowhere near, to be an endangered species. But there is a fresh water jellyfish which was facing extinction worldwide, was recently again spotted in large quantities in Zhelin Lake in east China's Jiangxi Province. This species is called Craspedacusta sowerbyi or the Peach Blossom Jellyfish, as it is commonly called in China, as it looks like a peach blossom in full bloom.

The peach blossom jellyfish belongs to the hydrozoa class of jellyfish. This adult bell-shaped jellyfish measures about 5 to 25 millimeters in diameter, and is called a hydromedusa. It has a translucent body with a tinge of white or green color. The gastrovascular cavity which serves as its stomach is made up of five opaque canals. The tentacles of this jellyfish alternate with 3 to 7 short tentacles, between longer ones. These protrude from the upper margin of the velum. The short tentacles helps the jellyfish to feed and the longer ones gives it stability while swimming. In total the jellyfish will have around 50 to 500 tentacles.

The orange blossom medusa appear in swarms sporadically, and they are known to exist more in the stages of planulae and polyps. This jellyfish is found mostly in the upper and lower Yangtze river valley of China. This species was first discovered in a water-lily tank in Regent's Park, in London, in 1880. The fresh water jellyfish has also been found in the eastern temperate states of the United States. It has also been recorded in Huron River near Ann Arbor in 1933 and also in the same year in Lake Erie.

The orange blossom jellyfish is very sensitive to its living environments and cannot live in waters, that have a temperature above 35 degrees centigrade. The recent sighting in the Zhelin Lake in China, is attributed to the improved water quality of the lake. The local authorities are overseeing that no industrial pollutants are discharged in the lake and that no restaurant is opened on the lake's islands. Fishing also is prohibited in an area of 100 square kilometers of the lake.

According to scientists, the orange blossom jellyfish has inhabited this planet for 1.5 billion years. Till date reports suggest that this jellyfish has become extinct in other countries, and in China also it was found in many places only decades ago. In Hawaii this jellyfish was confirmed in 1938, but in the last 15 years there has been no documented observations.

The sting of the freshwater jellyfish is not dangerous to humans, as their nematocysts, are least likely to penetrate the human skin. The population of this jellyfish that is usually found, has only all male or all female, making sexual reproduction rare.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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