JellyFish Facts

Scyphozoa Jellyfish

Scyphozoa Jellyfish picture

Scyphozoa Jellyfish

Scyphozoa jellyfish is one type of jellyfish from a wide range of its kind. They are also called scyphomedusae and true jellyfish. There are over 200 species of Scyphozoa jellyfish and other than them there are other type of jellyfish that are identified as Staurozoa, Hydrozoa and Cubozoa. Jellyfish are also known as medusa. The name Scyphozoa has been taken from skyphos which is a Greek word. It denotes a type of cup identical with the forms of Scyphozoa jellyfish.

They belong to the class Phylum cnidaria and they are said to have links with Ediacaran period, which geologically is the last period of the Neoproterozoic era and related to Ediacara hills of Southern Australia thus giving the name for this particular period, 'Edicaran'. Medusae are the most advanced form of Scyphozoan's life cycle, and they feed on various types of crustaceans as well as on fish. They use their venomous cells identified as nematocysts to get their prey.

These nematocysts are linked with tentacles that come down from their umbrella like domes. Scyphozoans show four-angled symmetry and they internally excrete gelatinous like material that is identified as mesoglea. They have no bony tissue in their bodies as well as they have no head. They don't have respiratory organs or organs for excretion. They have no central nervous system as well. Every other jellyfish including this one is made up of 99 percent water. Hence they are widely classified as fossil-less form.

Though other types of Cnidarians have veil-like forms, this one has no velum. The velum, which is identical with an umbrella, helps these creatures to sail in the waters. Although scyphozoans lack velum, their movement in the water happens with contraction and relaxation of their umbrella like muscle. The mechanism helps them to get away from the predators that feed on them.

The only member from the scyphozoan jellyfish that are used as human food is from the Order Rhizostomeae. There are about 12 type of Rhizostomeae that are harvested in Southeast Asia and sold in international markets Chinese Rhopilema esculentum, USA stomolophus meleagirs are widely used for food as this jellyfish have harder and bigger forms than other types. Furthermore, the toxins that come out from them are harmless to humans.

The processing procedure of scyophozoan jellyfish for food takes about 20-40 days. In this procedure, the oral arms and the umbrella part of the jelly fish are mixed with alum and table salt but only after the removal of their mucous and gonads. Then, they are compressed. This procedure helps to reduce its liquids, make them odorless as well as restrict the growth of harmful organisms on them. Once the procedure is done, the condition of the jellyfish become more acidic and dry which gives them a crispy and crunchy textures as well. The newly processed jellyfish takes on a creamy whitish appearance. However, once they are preserved for a long time, they give out a brownish or yellowish appearance instead.

Jellyfish has been a very delicious food in Japan and China since very ancient times. Chinese people think that they have special healing powers. Owing to these reasons, Jelly fish processing has become an international business that is worth billions in Southeast Asian countries and in Mexico as well. The extraordinary beauty of jelly fish attracts people to public aquariums. They are also put in home aquariums as domestic pets.

Learn more about Jellyfish, Jellyfish Species and Jellyfish Cooking

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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