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Moon Jellyfish

Aurelia aurita

Size – Commonly found around 16 inches (40cm), but up to 24 inches (60 cm) in diameter

Moon Jellyfish, usually referred to as a Moon Jelly, is a short-belled, alien looking, True Jelly with short tentacles. Their tentacles are covered in what is referred to as cnidocytes, and are used to sting their prey.

They live in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, most commonly along the Atlantic coast of North America and Europe.

They use their cnidocyte covered tentacles to capture their prey, which consists of: zooplankton, small crustaceans, molluscs, and worms.

Most live solitary lives, but are often naturally grouped together as a result of the currents in the ocean. Some scientists believe they are capable of communication via chemicals they release into the water.

They are a widely studied jelly in the Genus Aurelia, of the Family Ulmaridae, in the Large Order Semaeostomeae (meaning flag mouths.)

There are 13 species in the Genus Aurelia, but many are not formally listed.

Their status is not of concern and they are believed to be doing very well as a species as they actually thrive on climate change’s effect on the reduction of other animals.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, nearly 2,500 moon jelly polyps and ephyrae — two early stages in the jelly life cycle — went into orbit aboard the space shuttle Columbia in May 1991. They were part of a study on the effects of weightlessness on the development of internal organs in juvenile jellies.

Moon Jellyfish Clickable
Photo by Averi Dickinson on Unsplash
Moon Jellies Gallery 2
Sea Moon jellyfish by dibrova - Envato Elements
Moon Jellyfish (aurelia aurita) Gallery 3
Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) illuminated with blue light swimming in the water Natural background by twenty20photos