Thursday, March 1, 2007

Ineresting Facts

  • box jelly and irkujandi are the most dangerous creatures for human in the sea
  • the longest animal in the world is a cnidarian : The Jellyfish Praya can reach up to 120 feet
  • first animals with a definite body of definite form and shape
  • In Japan jellyfish are considered to be a delicacy
  • Jellyfish body is 95% Water
  • Jellyfish have been around for over 650 million years (they out date dinosaurs)
  • Some species of jellyfish contains a lot of protein and is thought to be able to play a large role in ending hunger and malnutrition in poor areas around the world
  • the Great Barrier Reef stretches over 1,300 miles along the Northern Eastern coast of Australia
  • Great Barrier Reef is made up of 2,600 different kinds of coral and supports up to 1,500 species of fish


Cnidaria: the phylum in which marine animals that are invertebrates with tentacles surrounding the mouth

polyp: sessile flower like cnidarian

medusa: motile bell shaped cnidarian

gastrovascular cavity: digestive cavity in cnidarians with only one opening

nematocyst: stinging structure on the tentacles of cnidarians that is used to paralyze or kill prey

hermaphrodite: individual that has both male and female reproductive organs

jellyfish:an invertebrate marine animal that, in its reproductive stage, has a nearly transparent gelatinous body shaped like an umbrella with trailing tentacles bearing stinging cells.

sea anemone:a solitary and often colorful sea animal with a squat cylindrical body that bears a ring of tentacles and is attached to rock or other nonliving material

coral:a marine organism that lives in colonies and has an external skeleton.

Take a look!

Orange Sea Pen

Red Polyps

Pink Sea Anemones

White Sea Anemones

Fried Egg Jelly Fish

Spotted Jellyfish

Green Sea Anemone
Moon Jellies


Cnidarians are motile at least one time in their life.

As you know, adult polyps do not move, they are sessile. But when they are young they are they are a larvae which swims a short distance to find a good environment to live in.

With its translucent parts, the jellyfish are nearly invisible in the water. Their bell-shaped top, flaps and dangling tentacles appear like the infamous Medusa, Greek mythological character with poisonous snakes instead of hair. One type of jellyfish moves through the water by attaching itself in the current to seaweed or other material, and catch prey at that spot. Others use jet propulsion by using specialized coronal muscles that are located on the bottom of the bell, and they force the water out of the bell to push the jellyfish forward. The ocean’s currents are the greatest determinant of the jellyfish’s movements, since even the ones that use jet propulsion cannot move against currents and waves. More significantly, without eyes or a brain, only nerve cells are directing the jellyfish to find food or avoid danger, with sensing organs identifying their location and distance from light. In order to balance in the water, sacs located on the bell rim stimulate nerves to contract muscles to keep the jellyfish stable.

So where do they live??

Cnidarians in general can be found all over the world, but most species live only in the sea.

Corals grow in shallow tropical waters around the world. For example, where a coral reef was formed, is the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

Sea Anemones live in the sea from the low-tide line to great depths.

Some jellyfish can be found in the North Atlantic and Austrailia

Adaptations to Environment

Since Cnidarians live in aquatic environments, they need to be able to survive in water. To do this, they must have special body structures. For instance, to be able to move in the water, jellyfish have a special type of skeleton called a Hydrodtatic Skeleton. This type of skeleton is a skeleton where muscles surround a water-filled body cavity and the muscles are supported by this cavity. This type of skeleton allows Cnidarians to move quickly and easily through the water. As well, Cnidarians do not have teeth to bite into prey. Since they need to feed, Cnidarians use their nematocytes to stun, kill, or paralyze their prey. They may even use their tentacles to drag their prey into the "mouth" alive. Because cnidarians are living in the open sea with many predators, they need a form of protection. So, not only do nematocysts help feed the cnidarian, they help protect them as well. When a predator, like humans, touches the cnidarian's nerve net, the trigger cells are activated. This, in turn, signals the firing of a nematocyst. The nematocyst then injects a toxin into the predator. This toxin, in some cases, can be fatal. In other cases, like humans, getting "stung" by a cnidarian just results in a burn. As we can see, Cnidarians are more than fit to survive in their aquatic environment.

Relation to the Environment

Can you spot the fish?
1. Symbiotic relationships with other animals like certain fish, shrimp and other small animals. They live among the tentacles of large sea anemones, which protects and provides food for these symbionts. The symbionts in turn, help clean the sea anemone and protect it from certain predators.

2. Corals and reefs are important in the ecology of tropical oceans. In the tunnels, caves, and channels created, live beautiful and fascinating animals. Corals are important to humans too. They provide a home for food fishes and edible animals, as well as for organisms that produce shells, pearls, and other products. They have been used to build houses and to filter drinking water. Reefs are also there to protect the land from the waves. Large amoujnts of shoreline may be washed away without coral reefs. Fossil reefs give important clues to geologists about the locations of oil deposits.

3. Medical Research: Some snidarians like sponges produce chemicals to protect themselves from being infected, overgrown, or settled upon. These chemicals may provide us with drugs. Studies on how their poison operates reveal a lot about how the system works. For instance, sea wasp jellyfish which produces nerve poisons helped scientists better understand never-cell function.