Moon Jelly Fish

Topics: Jellyfish, Cnidaria, Scyphozoa Pages: 2 (573 words) Published: January 29, 2013
The Moon Jellyfish in the scientific world is known as the Aurelia aurita. It is one of the most common jellyfish along the Atlantic Coast. It is reportedly less venomous than other jellyfish. The Moon Jellyfish is usually translucent white, pink or beige. It is in the Kingdom Animalia, Followed by the Phylum Cnidaria. The Moon Jellyfish is in the class Scyphozoa. Its belongs to the order Semaeostomeae. It is in the family Ulmaridae and the Genus Aurelia. The Moon Jellyfish belongs to the Species A. aurita.

The Moon Jellyfish has nematocysts on its tentacles which is a venomous coiled thread-like stinger. When the nematocyst is called upon to fire, the thread is uncoiled, and springs straight. The harpoon-like thread punctures through the cnidocyte wall and into the prey. Once it captures prey on its tentacles it is brought to its body by contracting its tentacles in a corkscrew motion. It feeds on plankton which includes organisms such as mollusks, crustaceans, tunicate larvae, rotifers, young polychaetes, protozoans, diatoms, eggs, fish eggs, and other small organisms.

All Aurelia including the Moon Jellyfish swim by pulsations of the bell-shaped upper part of the animal. Swimming mostly functions to keep the animal near the surface of the water rather than to make progress through the water. They swim horizontally, keeping the bell near the surface at all times. This allows the tentacles to be spread over the largest possible area, in order to better catch food. The coronal muscle allows the animal to pulsate in order to move. Impulses to contract are sent by way of the subumbrellar nerve net and are nervous in origin. The moon jelly has rhopalial centers, which allow it to control the pulsations. As the oxygen rate in the water goes down, so too does the respiratory rate of the jellyfish.

The Moon Jellyfish is found in three oceans. The Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. They are found near the coast, mostly in warm and...
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