The Box Jellyfish

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  • Topic: Box jellyfish, Jellyfish, Cnidocyte
  • Pages : 4 (1101 words )
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  • Published : May 8, 2010
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The Box Jellyfish is known as one of the most venomous creatures in the world and has caused significant injuries and fatalities (Straw 2010). Due to the box jellyfish’s dangerous nature much research has been carried out in regards to its physical appearance, habitat, mating habits and its known predators. Further research has been done in the area of its venomous properties and effective first aid procedures. It is hoped that with a better understanding of the box jelly fish, humans will be able to co-exist with it and be safer in the water.

Box jellyfish are commonly found on the northern shores of Australia (Edmonds 2000).The box jellyfish seem to move towards the shore in calm waters when the tide is rising and gather near the mouths of rivers, estuaries and creeks following the rain (Gershwin 2002). These are also areas that are frequented by humans in their pursuit of leisure activities and therefore place humans at risk of being stung by the box jelly fish.

The jellyfish has four distinct sides and is cubed shaped. This is what has given these jellyfish their common name of “Box Jellyfish”. A fully grown box jellyfish measures up to 20 centimetres along each box side and the tentacles can grow up to three metres in length. Each side has approximately 15 tentacles and 5000 nematocysts, which are the little stinging cells located on their tentacles. The box jelly fish can weigh up to two kilograms. Box jellyfish are pale blue in colour and are translucent, which makes them invisible in the water. So much so, that for years nobody knew what was causing swimmers such excruciating pain, and sometimes killing them. The animals have eyes but no brain so no one knows how they process what they see (Birgit, 2008).

Mating behaviours in box jellyfish species are quite different compared to other marine species. Box Jellyfish usually mass spawn, during which males and females never touch while they release sperm and eggs into the ocean and let nature take...
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