Find Scarlet’s Adventure episode 9: Go with the Flow and previous episodes here. Expand learning on Sea jellies with the resources below.
Eyes on Science
Discover Sea Jellies
While the sea jellies are more commonly known as a jellyfish, they aren’t related to fish at all! Sea jellies are from a group related to sea anemones and corals. Unlike actual fish, sea jellies do not have spines, scales, fins, or even gills and most organs. In fact, sea jellies can barely swim at all and usually either anchor themselves in place or drift with the ocean currents. Jellies are notorious for their stinging tentacles, which hang below them from their bell. These tentacles are coated in what are essentially microscopic harpoons. These harpoons are filled with venom and are spring-loaded to fire on reflex. Whenever something touches the tentacles, they will fire the stinging harpoons.
Fun fact: even a dead sea jelly can sting! Despite their drifting lifestyles sea jellies are a very successful group of animals, having been on this planet for millions of years. In addition, they are a very important part of the marine food web. Several animal species eat them, including all sea turtle species during parts of their lives. In fact, the world’s largest turtle, the leatherback sea turtle, eats nothing but sea jellies.
More Ways to Explore
Read more about Sea jellies at the Smithsonian Ocean Find Your Blue Webpage.