Enter a far-out world where jellies dance, bloom and sting. These graceful and mysterious animals flaunt an array of fashions, from simple, see-through styles to vibrant colors with ruffles and beads. Some even glow when the light is just right.
In this Exhibit
This striking and rare jelly has brilliant, multicolored tentacles trailing from a translucent, pinstriped bell. It also has tentacles around the rim of its bell that it can quickly coil and uncoil. This mysterious jelly is semi-benthic, sometimes spending its time on the seafloor.
Comb jellies are beautiful, oval-shaped animals with eight rows of tiny comblike plates that they beat to move themselves through the water. As they swim, the comb rows diffract light to produce a shimmering, rainbow effect. Voracious predators on other jellies, some can expand their stomachs to hold prey nearly half their own size.
- Jellies are more than 95 percent water. They don't have bones, brains, blood, teeth or fins.
- Simple, symmetrical bodies allow jellies to catch prey and avoid danger from any direction.
- Jelly tentacles are beaded with thousands of stinging cells that stun prey by injecting a dose of toxins.
- A jelly can grow or shrink according to the available food supply. If the cupboard is bare, jellies can "de-grow," shrinking in size so they need less food. They can re-grow again when food is more plentiful.