Get an up-close look at the delicate sea nettles in our Open Sea exhibit.
Watch our sea nettles as their long tentacles and lacey mouth-arms move smoothly through the water. But don't let these unassuming invertebrates fool you—their graceful trailing parts are covered in stinging cells used for hunting. When their tentacles touch tiny drifting prey, the stinging cells paralyze it and stick tight. The prey is moved to the mouth-arms and then to the mouth, where it's digested.
The graceful sea gooseberry lets its tentacles trail in the current to catch bits of drifting plankton. Then it elegantly spins and brings its tentacles in, passing the food to its pulsing combs, which then ferry the morsel to the jelly’s mouth.
Questions like this motivated a team of scientists to learn—and document—how to tag jellies so that we can find out more about them and their role in ocean ecosystems. These new tagging techniques will help researchers better appreciate these mysterious "blobs of goo."
Our standards-based curriculum has been developed to provide educators with easy-to-use, Aquarium-centered science activities for the classroom.