Upside-down jelly

Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.

 

Natural History

Down is up for this jelly—it rests its bell on the seafloor and waves its lacy underparts up toward the sun. Why? This jelly is a farmer. Its brownish color is caused by symbiotic algae living inside the jelly’s tissues. By lying upside-down, the jelly exposes its algae to the sun, allowing it to photosynthesize. The jelly lives off food the algae produce, as well as zooplankton.

An upside-down jelly doesn’t have a central mouth—instead, the edges of its eight oral arms are fused and folded into elaborate frills containing hundreds of tiny mouth openings. The mouth openings are connected by channels to its stomach. By pulsing its bell, it forces zooplankton into the nematocysts on its mouth openings.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s