Fishy February; A-Z of a Mermaid's Friends (J)
J - Jellyfish
These Compass Jellyfish (or Sea Nettles) are a frequent summer visitor to the UK. - They can dive down to around 26m! - Usually about 30cm wide across their bell, they are easily identifiable by their brown ‘V’ shaped markings, making them look like a compass! - Not all jellyfish sting, but these do! They have 4 arms, and 24 extendable & retractable tentacles, which have stinging cells that they use to paralyse their prey. Although a sting from these jellyfish wouldn’t be fatal to a human, they can cause quite a severe reaction! - If you are unfortunate enough to come into contact with one, you may find the tentacle sticks to your skin, and continues to sting even when not connected to the body! Scrape it off or use tweezers, then rinse the area with warm water to reduce the swelling... don’t wee on it, it’s a myth 🙈 - Over the course of it’s 1 year lifespan, these jellyfish will change from male to female! - They are sometimes used as transportation for other sea creatures! There have been documented instances of juvenile crabs attaching themselves to the bodies of the jellyfish until they arrive at shore, often snacking on their nettles along the way! - Research suggests that warmer ocean temperatures is resulting in growing jellyfish populations. This impacts other fish populations in their region, as jellyfish feed on fish eggs and larvae. Jellyfish and larval fish also share common dietary preferences, so competition for food resources can result in depleted fish populations. This is amplified by the Compass Jellyfish having few predators, due to it’s stinging nettles!