JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Enemies

Jellyfish Enemies picture

Jellyfish Enemies

The jellyfish is a strange creature inhabiting the oceans of the world. It is fascinating to watch a jellyfish swim in the sea and people are trying to breed them in home aquariums and tanks. The jellyfish is a delicate creature and will just collapse if taken out of the water. The different species are known to survive in the ocean at all depths, and in different water temperatures. The body of the jellyfish has hardly any solid matter, and it consists mainly of water, which is about 95%. The body is belled shaped and is filled with a gelatinous substance.

The jellyfish mainly feeds on the zooplankton, snails, small fishes and larvae and eggs of other marine animals. It catches its prey with its tentacles, which has a venom to immobilise them. The venom can cause paralysis and death to most of the small marine creatures. In spite of having this venom the jellyfish is preyed upon by certain other marine creatures.

One of the creatures that eat jellyfish, are the sea turtles. Among the sea turtles the leatherback sea turtle is known to feed exclusively on jellyfish. It sometimes mistakes a plastic bag to be a jellyfish and eats that and suffocates to death. The leatherback is considered to be an oceanic-pelagic animal, which means that it is programmed to swim continuously in open waters, and are known to swim the entire Pacific Basin to reach their nesting beach. Their movements are also governed by the seasonal abundance of jellyfish in certain areas. The mouth of the leatherback is designed for eating only soft foods and hence its preference for jellyfish. It has scissor-like jaws which are delicate, and the mouth and throat cavity is lined with spine-like projections, pointing backwards which help them to swallow soft foods, like the jellyfish. Amazingly the venom of the jellyfish does not seem to have any effect on this turtle, and is known to eat even the extremely venomous variety of jellyfish as well.

The Loggerhead and the Ridley are the other sea turtles that eat jellyfish. Their diet consists of harder foods also like crabs and shrimps, as they have a stronger jaw which is adapted to crushing and grinding.

Among the fishes, predators like the Banner fish, Sun fish and the Spade fish are known to feed on the jellyfish. There are certain snails that are known to nibble on the tentacles of the jellyfish as they are immune to their stings. Then there is the arrow crab which is known to feed on the jellyfish.

Of course we cannot leave out man, as an enemy of the jellyfish, because he too feeds on them. In countries like Japan and China a jellyfish salad is considered a delicacy. Certain jellyfish like the mushroom jellyfish is rich in protein and places where the diet has less of protein, this jellyfish is considered a good and cheap source for protein. There is an explosion of jellyfish population in the waters around China, Japan and Australia, and the jellyfish is being caught in huge quantities in these areas and is becoming an important food in the diet of people in these countries.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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