JellyFish Facts

New England Jellyfish

New England Jellyfish picture

New England Jellyfish

The fascinating jellyfish is a marine animal that is found all over in the oceans of the world. The 200 varieties of jellyfish, come in a stunning array of colors, sizes and shapes. In the northeastern region of the United States is the region of New England. Its coastline is bounded by the Atlantic ocean and is home to a diverse marine life. There a lot of jellyfish in these waters and main ones are the Lion's Mane and Portuguese man-of-war.

Technically the Portuguese man-of-war cannot be called a jellyfish as it is a siphonophore, which is an animal made up of colony of organisms working together. But it does look like a jellyfish and people also generally refer to it as a jellyfish. It is made up of four separate polyps, and the top polyp is filled with gas and it floats above the water. They have thin tendrils that can reach lengths of up to 50 meters, but generally the average length is around 10 meters. The tendrils are covered with venomous nematocysts which they use to immobilise their prey. Their sting is rarely fatal to humans, but can cause excruciating pain. A person who is stung can go into shock and drown. A dead Portuguese man-of-war should not be touched as it too can deliver a sting.

In June 2006 after a period of high winds and stormy weather, the coastlines of New England, were infested with a lot of Portuguese man-of-war. A man was stung badly when he got tangled in its tendrils, while swimming along the East Beach in Westport. Surfers saw several of these jellyfish, in Goosewing Beach in Little Compton as well. These jellyfish are known to inhabit, tropical and subtropical waters, but drift to the north Atlantic, through the Gulf Stream.

Another famous jellyfish that is found in the North Atlantic, around New England is the Lion's Mane. This jellyfish has an imposing appearance, and is considered the largest jellyfish in the world. The largest one recorded had a bell body, with a diameter of 2.3 meters and the tentacles were 120 feet in length. Their tentacles are extremely sticky and come in thick clusters. There are 8 clusters, each with 65 to 150 tentacles. The bell body is divided into eight lobes, and at the center there is a tangled arrangement of colorful oral arms. When the jellyfish is young it has a pink or yellow color and then as it ages it turns a darker red with sprinkling of brown.

The Lion's Mane jellyfish is warm blooded and can survive freezing waters. In New England it is usually spotted in the late summer and fall. This jelly has millions of stinging cells on its tentacles and uses them to paralyse its prey. The sing of a Lion's Mane is extremely painful and causes a lot of burning sensation. Although not considered fatal, the person can suffer a lot with temporary pain and severe burns.

New England also has a very famous aquarium, where there is quite an interesting collection of different jellyfish.

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




Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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