By M.Lancis, teacher at AIT L’Ametlla
Jellyfish have been around on ocean currents for millions of years, even before dinosaurs lived on the Earth.
These creatures pulse along on ocean creatures with a jellylike body and are abundant in cold and warm ocean water. Depending on the species, you can find them in deep water or along coastlines. Despite their name, jellyfish aren’t actually fish, they’re invertebrate animals, that means that they have no backbone, like snails.
A lot of people are afraid of finding jellyfish on the beach because it’s commonly known that jellyfish have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them, so although they don’t purposely attack humans (most stings occur just touching a tentacle by accident), jellyfish stings can be painful to humans and, depending on the species, they can be deadly.
Inside their bell-shaped body, there is an opening that serves as a mouth. They eat and discard waste from this opening. Jellyfish also use the mouth to propel forward, squirting water, while tentacles hang down from the smooth bag-like body and sting their prey.
They digest their food very quickly because they wouldn’t be able to float if they had to carry a large, undigested meal around. They dine on fish, shrimp, crabs and tiny plants. Some jellyfish are clear, but others are in vibrant colours such as pink, yellow, blue, and purple, and often are luminescent. Since their body is 90% water, if they get stranded on the sand, they slowly die by evaporation.
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