JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Season

Jellyfish Season picture

Jellyfish Season

Jellyfish are amongst the most fascinating marine creatures to inhabit the marine waters of the world. They exist in all seas and oceans in the world across all continents. Different species inhabit different levels of the waters and jellyfish can be found right from the surface of the water to their very depths.

There are more than 2000 known species of jellyfish with new species discovered every year. Most species have specific habitat requirements and they exist only in those locations. Few species of jellyfish are prolific enough to inhabit all the waters of the world. The bodies of most jellyfish are adapted to suit the environment they live in and taken away from this environment, the jellyfish is likely to die.

Different jellyfish have different seasons that they mate in. While most jellyfish mature sexually during the spring and summer, some other jellyfish can only be found in the coldest waters during the coldest months. For instance, box jellyfish comes into season between October and April, whereas the moon jelly, Aurelia aurita, and the sea nettle, Chrysaora quinquecirrha come into season during summer.

Jellyfish reproduce in an extremely fascinating fashion. The season implies their last stage in the reproduction cycle. The previous stages, however, can last for an indefinite period of time. Let's take a brief look at the reproduction cycle of the jellyfish to understand this phenomenon:

The jellyfish embryo is formed in the stomach or mouth of the female jellyfish when her eggs come in contact with male sperms that are released in the water. These embryos are stored on the mother's body until they get transformed into free-swimming planulae. These planulae float for a few days at the surface of the water and then sink into the water and attach themselves to a solid surface. Here, they get transformed into polyps and they grow into a large colony of polyps by creating new polyps from their base. This colony of polyps is connected to each other with a series of small feeding tubes to ensure that the food captured is distributed evenly. This colony of polyps can grow to huge proportions and can remain at this stage for a number of years.

Under certain conditions, during their season, this polyp colony starts getting horizontal grooves across itself. The topmost groove matures the quickest and gets transformed into a tiny jellyfish and it detaches itself from the colony. In the next few weeks, this tiny jellyfish grows into a full grown adult. This is the medusa form of the jellyfish and is the most recognized across the world.

During season time, which is specific to each jellyfish species, these polyps get transformed into jellyfish. However, not all polyps in a colony transform themselves. In the duration of the season, only a part of the hydroid colony may actually become jellyfish. If the season changes, this process of transformation comes to a halt and the polyp colony returns to its sessile stage. During this stage, it make continue to grow in size.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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