Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday
Photo by Justin Hofman
Although it is virtually impossible to distinguish the many different subspecies of this organism without extensively studying their DNA, Moon Jellyfish are all characterized by the appearance of four reproductive organs, or 'gonads', which are each shaped like a horseshoe, and which can be clearly seen through their single, transparent 'bells' that dominate their respective body shapes. They do sting, but their nematocysts do not fire strong enough to break human skin. The individual size of a given mature moon jelly can vary considerably, typically ranging between 2 and 15 inches in diameter. The moon jelly is composed mainly of water, which in fact accounts for 95% of its entire body composition. It is a carnivorous animal, feeding on protein-rich aquatic animals. A moon jelly does not use feet or a tail for locomotion. Instead, it moves through pulsations carried out within its bell, or through passively riding the seas' currents wherein they live. Others get entangled in the lining of their ensnared prey, which is then transported along the Moon Jellyfish's internal canals, ultimately depositing all of the food into its stomach. A moon jelly adult may live for more than 12 months, while their polyp can go on living without their bodies for up to two and a half decades.