Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jellyfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jellyfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Jellyfish are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are typified as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey."

Jellyfish lifespans typically range from a few hours (in the case of some very small hydromedusae) to several months. Life span and maximum size varies by species. Jellyfish held in public aquariums are carefully tended, fed daily even when food might be seasonally rare in the wild, and sometimes treated with antibiotics if they develop infections, so may live several years, though this would be very unusual in the sea. Most large coastal jellyfish live 2 to 6 months, during which they grow from a millimeter or two to many centimeters in diameter. One unusual species is reported to live as long as 30 years[citation needed]. Another unusual species, T. nutricula, falsely reported as Turritopsis dohrnii, might be effectively immortal because of its ability under certain circumstances in the laboratory to transform from medusa back to the polyp stage, thereby escaping the death that typically awaits medusae post-reproduction if they have not otherwise been eaten by some other ocean organism .[39] So far this transdifferentian of life form has been observed only in the laboratory and it is not known if it actually occurs in wild Turritopsis populations."

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