Jellyfish Rule! --- Moon Jellyfish [LiveScience 2011-04-28]
The moon jellyfish is believed to have been introduced into many new environments by ships, when the jellyfish's stationary developmental stage, called a polyp, attached to their hulls or came in via the ballast water, which ships dump once they arrive at their destination.
Jellyfish are simple, successful and, occasionally, deadly creatures. The Australian box jellyfish has enough toxin in each of its tentacles to kill 60 people. Some jellyfish create spectacular blooms when fields of polyps, their stationary life stage, simultaneously bud off into free-floating medusae. These blooms are blamed for the deaths of swimmers, clogged fishing nets and power plant intakes, and in certain parts of the world, like Japan, they appear to be on the rise.
But these problems are associated with only a subset of the creatures we call "jellyfish" – a catch all term for an amazingly diverse group of organisms. It includes corals, true jellies and others with stinging cells, as well as the stingless comb jellies, which swim using tiny hairs, called cilia.
What they also are is beautiful, as the following images attest.
- Red Giant: Big Red Jellyfish (Tiburonia granrojo)
- Haunting Eyes: Sea Wasp (Chironex fleckeri)
- Ocean Mixers: Golden Jellyfishes (Mastigias sp.)
- Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)
- Oldest Known Jellyfish Fossils
- Monster Jellyfish: Australian spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata)
- Jellies from Above: Blooms of Moon Jellyfishes
- Nomura's Jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai)
- Blooms of Nomura's Jellyfishes
- Mating Ritual: Box Jellyfish (Copula sivickisi)
- Jellyfish Introductions: Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)