What do Healthy Jellyfish Look Like?

Jellyfish are strange and very foreign creatures. They’re often compared to alien spacecraft, and deservingly so. Unfortunately, these enigmatic creatures don’t have brains or mouths to tell us when they’re upset. As jellyfish guardians, we have to be able to tell the difference between a healthy jellyfish and a sick one.

For this post, we’re going to be using the Moon Jellyfish for all of our examples. Other species may vary slightly, but should be very similar.

What does a healthy jellyfish look like?

A healthy jellyfish should have an even, round bell. Their bodies should be fairly thick, and smooth. A happy moon Jellyfish will have hundreds of tiny fringe tentacles at the edge of the bell, and four mouth arms in the center. It should pulse once every few seconds.

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In the above photo, notice how there are tons of long, hair like tentacles at the edge of the bell. These “fringe tentacles” are a good indicator of health. They should be long, relaxed and flow smoothly as the jellyfish pulses. They do tend to retract these while eating, so don’t be alarmed if they temporarily disappear!

Also notice the width of the bell. This is exactly how wide a healthy Moon Jelly should be. Thinner ones are less nourished, and may not be getting enough nutrition. IMG_1013.jpg

Note that the bells are round and very smooth. The jellies maintain a sort of half circle form. They aren’t thin like plates, but also aren’t balled up into a sphere. Both extremes are bad signs.

We hope this post can be used as a reference guide for your own jellies at home. Stay tuned, as our next post will be on common jellyfish ills and ails.

At the Jellyfish warehouse, we put the highest level of effort and research to create happy and healthy jellyfish for the home aquarium. You can purchase your own here: Jellyfish Warehouse

Do Immortal Jellyfish Really Live Forever?

At the Jellyfish Warehouse, we get a lot of questions about the Immortal Jellyfish, Turritopsis nutricula. We’ve also had the chance to keep these lovely creatures twice. So do these odd jellyfish live up to their name or are they a just a sting?

 

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Turritopsis dohrnii on the left, and Turritopsis nutricula on the right.

The Immortal Jellyfish is a group of jellyfish, with two species being of interest. Turritopsis nutricula, and Turritopsis dohrnii. The first species there is native to the Atlantic Ocean, whereas the latter is found in Japan. These jellies have earned their immortal title through their odd and fascinating life cycle. As a human, you probably started as a baby, and then progressed into a child, a teen and finally an adult. What if you could transform right back into an infant? Turritopsis can do just that! They curl up into a ball and transform back into their larval polyp stage. From there, they can stay as polyps or transform back into jellyfish.

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This diagram shows the process of Turritopsis reverting back to the polyp stage.

So does this mean they are truly immortal? Well, scientists are not entirely sure how long these jellies can do this. So far, it seems like the answer is: indefinitely. These jellies can still die, however. If they are one-hit KO’ed, they will simply perish. The key is if they have been injured, but are able to escape. That injury is typically what initiates the process of reversing.

 

As scientists continue to study these enigmatic jellies, we
will begin to understand just how long they can live, and whether or not they can truly stop the clock.

 

You can buy your own pet jellyfish and jellyfish aquarium at our online store: Jellyfish Warehouse

 

Photo credits:

`http://i.imgur.com/DHafVdB.png

`http://www.reed.edu/biology/courses/BIO342/2011_syllabus/2011_websites/eric_van_baak_site/images/life_cycle.jpg

`http://a-z-animals.com/images/blog/immortal3.jpg