JellyFish Facts

Lion's Mane Jellyfish

Lion's Mane Jellyfish picture

Lion's Mane Jellyfish

Lion's Mane Jellyfish is the largest jellyfish known. They inhabit the cold northern Artic Sea and northern parts of Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Smaller jellyfish of the same species are found in the waters off New Zealand and Australia.

Lion's Mane Jellyfish is the longest known animal in the world. In 1870, the jellyfish washed ashore on Massachusetts Bay had a bell diameter of 7 feet and 6 inches. Its tentacles measured a whopping 120 feet, which is the longer than the largest known blue whale.

Those found in the northern regions are larger than those in lower latitudes are. The bell diameter may vary as much as 20 inches to 8 feet. The tentacles also vary proportionately. The tentacles are glutinous and are found in eight bunches. Each bunch has more than 100 tentacles arranged in rows.

The bell is shaped like an eight-pointed star. The thin silvery tentacle groups are attached to the bell's sub-umbrella. Another set of shorter arms protrude from the center of the bell. They form a colorful entanglement, which is visual treat.

Lion's Many Jellyfish are found in a range of colors with the larger ones seen in crimson to dark purple. The smaller ones are found in light orange to tan. These jellyfish got the name due to the color and appearance, which reminds the spectator of lion's mane.

Lion's Mane Jellyfish is seen in colder waters and not in the warm oceans. They are seen mostly in open sea. Towards the end of their lifespan, they show a tendency to settle in sheltered bays and shallow waters. They remain near the water surface and are swept forward by the ocean currents.

In the open ocean, Lion's Mane Jellyfish forms a protective island for many species of fishes like shrimp, harvestfish and medusa. They get ample food and are safe from predators while under the shelter of Lion's Mane.

Lion's Mane feed on small fishes, moon jellies, ctenophores and zooplankton. They are preyed by larger fishes and jellyfish, sea birds and turtles.

Lion's Mane reproduces sexually during medusa stage and asexually during polyp stage. They are seen to increase in number during the beginning of the spring season. As the water warms, most of them perish. By the end of summer, those remaining will grow to a bell size of about 6 inches. The normal lifespan of Lion's Mane is one year.

The population of Lion's Mane doesn't vary much from year to year. It may show a slight change depending on the variation in the water temperature. It is possible to predict the population and bell size, if the water temperature is known.

If the ocean has Lion's Mane presence, the best time to go for swimming without protection is early spring, when it is too small to hurt or late summer, when there are very few left to harm. During the entire summer months from June to first half of August, it is advisable to take precautions for jellyfish sting.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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