Fascinating to look at but harmful to touch, jellyfish are one of the ocean’s most unique creatures. Before you visit jellyfish at SeaWorld Orlando, we’re sharing 10 illuminating facts about this sea animal:
They’ve Been Around a Long Time
Jellyfish have been around for millions of years. They’ve been here so long they go back to before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Jellyfish can be found in waters both cold and warm, deep and shallow and along coastlines.
There Are Many Different Types
The types of jellyfish including medusae. There are even non-stinging kinds called comb jellies or ctenophores. Another type of jelly animal called a salp is even in the same group as humans.
They Don’t Live Long
Despite being around forever, jellyfish don’t live very long. Most live less than a year and some only a few days.
When huge numbers of plants or animals appear suddenly it is called a bloom. In some areas of the world a large number of jellyfish can swarm together. These blooms can cause problems for fisheries and tourism.
They Are Not Strong Swimmers
Jellyfish are plankton (from the Greek word planktos, meaning to wander or drift) so as the name implies, they aren’t great swimmers. They drift with the current of the ocean. Blooms often form where two currents meet.
They Are Colorful
While some jellyfish may be clear, there are others that are vibrant colors of pink, blue, yellow and purple. And some are even bioluminescent, which means they can create their own light.
They have no brains, heart, bones or eyes
So how exactly do they function? They are made up of a smooth bag-like body and tentacles lined with tiny, stinging cells, which stun or paralyze prey.
Their Mouths Are Important
A jellyfish’s mouth is located at the center of its body. From the small hole it both eats and discards waste. It also helps them move. By squirting a jet of water from its mouth, a jellyfish can propel forward.
They Eat All Types of Things
Jellyfish eat small plants, copepods, fish eggs, planktonic eggs, larvae and more.
They Have a Very Important Role in the Ocean
Jellyfish have a very important role in our oceans. They are food for a number of marine animals. They also provide habitat for many juvenile fishes in areas where there are not many places to hide. They can also protect the small fish from being eaten by predators with their stinging cells. Additionally, many young crabs attach themselves to the top of jellyfish, so they don’t have to swim.
Check out this mysterious creature at SeaWorld Orlando’s Jewel of the Sea Aquarium and make sure to get your discounted tickets here at BestOfOrlando.com!