Medusa Facts – Jellyfish and Sea Jellies Science Game

This science game helps children practice about jellyfish and sea jellies. A medusa is a marine animal that develops in a certain phase of its life cycle. These creatures are classified in two subphyla, the Cnidaria and the Medusozoa. Jellyfish and sea jellies are two common names for this animal. You may wonder why they have stinging cells. Luckily, there are many ways to find out. Below, we've listed a few things to know about jellyfish and sea jellies.

Life cycle
The life cycle of jellyfish begins with the planula larva, which develops into a polyp, or sea anemone-like structure. The topmost part of this structure matures at a rapid rate, budging off as tiny immature jellyfish. As the jellyfish grows larger, it develops a disc-like structure with arm-like protrusions, called the ephyra. Once mature, the ephyra develops into a mature medusa, or adult jellyfish.
A Jellyfish's habitat is the sea. Jellyfish grow into polyps in the water and attach to the sea floor. Once mature, these polyps are small jellyfish that reproduce in alternation with one another. The smallest jellyfish is a tiny, 2 cm-diameter species known as a freshwater jellyfish. Previously, jellyfish were found in freshwater lakes and ponds, but they are now rare.
The Biology of Jellyfish is interesting for several reasons. Jellyfish lack brains, blood, and heart. They consist of three layers: an outer layer called the epidermis, a middle layer made of an elastic jelly-like substance called the mesoglea, and an inner layer called the gastrodermis. Jellyfish have an elementary nervous system and one mouth-like opening. As their name suggests, jellyfish have no teeth or claws.
Stinging cells
A jellyfish's stinging cells are among the most effective predation tools. They contain a folded tubule and a capsule that uses high pressure and acceleration to capture prey. Scientists have developed mathematical models and microfluidic systems to study the function of these stinging cells. The stinging response of jellyfish requires several different cues. The stinging response of jellyfish depends on a combination of chemical and mechanical stimuli.
Nematocysts in a jellyfish are tiny stinging cells that resemble miniature harpoons. They are used by these cnidarians to protect themselves, capture prey, and move. They are usually made of a thin, spiraled tube that is tipped with a barb that is capable of inflicting serious damage to its prey.
In a recent study, a patient offshore in Far North Queensland was stung by an unknown jellyfish species, causing severe pain and whip-like skin lesions and constitutional symptoms. His x-rays revealed tentacular nematocysts, similar to those of Carukia barnesi (the jellyfish responsible for Irukandji syndrome), but they were different. His heart rate was elevated and his cardiac troponin level was elevated despite no evidence of cardiac disease.
The Portuguese man-o-war, a common jellyfish look-alike, is a colony of siphonophores. Like jellyfish, some jelly lookalikes are venomous and have venomous stings. Bastian Bentlage, a graduate student in the field of invertebrate zoology at the University of Kansas, spends his days researching and classifying jellyfish. It's no easy task to figure out the jellyfish family tree.
Behavioral adaptations
Behavioral adaptations of jellyfish include swimming strategies that may help them find their prey. Although jellyfish lack sophisticated sensory mechanisms and neural networks, they have evolved complex social behaviors that may aid them in locating each other in open water masses. For example, P. periphylla swims slowly with its tentacles first, approaching its prey with as little disturbance as possible. Behavioral adaptations of jellyfish may also aid predators during foraging, as the krill respond to tentacular predators by jumping in random directions.
Human impact
Jellyfish are a growing threat to marine environments. The explosion of the jellyfish population in southern Spain is a disturbing reminder of the human impact on marine ecosystems. While the causes are uncertain, they include climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and agricultural chemicals. Because there is little scientific evidence to support the link between these causes and the increasing number of jellyfish, scientists cannot say for sure. However, it is believed that changes in ocean pH and oxygen levels are contributing factors.