Many people view jellyfish as small monstrosities, due to their uncommon feature in this common world. Despite the perceptions people have of jellyfish, they are extremely important in marine life. Jellyfish are also food for many marine animals making life in the ocean a continuous cycle. Jellyfish play an important part globally and in order to make sense of jellyfish, it is important to know what jellyfish are, how they live, how to treat their stings, and the benefits of the species. With this knowledge, it is clear that jellyfish are not our enemy.
Jellyfish are free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles from the Animalia kingdom and belong to the class of Scyphozoa with many other jelly-like creatures (Dickerson). These fascinating creatures have no bones, no head, no gills, no brain and no organs that help them to breathe or excrete waste (Dickerson). Some jellyfish are transparent, so you can see right through them (Taylor 1: 11). The free-swimmers belonging to the class Scyphozoa, are one of the oldest creatures alive today on Earth. They consist of ninety-five percent water, three percent salt and two percent protein. No brain, no digestive system, no respiratory system, and no bones. Is it not interesting that they have survived for so long without a single help? The scientific name for jellyfish is Medusozoa (2014, April 15). Multiple names have been given to the free-swimming specie such as Jellies, Sea Jellies, and Jellyfish.
Jellies have flexible limbs that outline their mouth called tentacles. All jellyfish have tentacles that vary in length and amount, and consist of cnidoblasts which possess stinging threads called nematocysts.(“Jellyfish” Think ). Tentacles act as arms for jellyfish, helping them to catch prey and defend themselves from danger, thats where the cnidoblasts come in handy. Cnidoblasts are venomous cells inside the tentacles of the jellyfish (Watson). Most times, jellyfish stings can be fatal to a human just like their prey, but some live to tell the tale.
Jellyfish come in all shapes and sizes and each are unique for its appearance and though they have no brain, they consist of what we call a nerve net (Jellyfishlauren2). A nerve net is a bunch of freely spreading nerve cells throughout the jellyfish’s gelatin body (Mitchell). Jellyfish eat other jellyfish, smaller fish, zooplankton, and crustaceans (Mahendram). Its bell-shaped body consist of 95% water (Klappenbach). So if you were to ever find a jellyfish washed up on shore for longer than a day, nothing more than the skin will be left of it, because the sun would have dried it up (“Jellyfish” Think Quest).
Jellyfish can inhabit many depts of the ocean (“Jellyfish” Red). From deep to shallow, a jellyfish may be spotted. Their bell-shaped bodies drifting with the currents of the ocean looking gracefully and brilliantly in color. Throughout every jellyfish life cycle, they have the choice whether they will...