By Julia Traill
Size: Bell Diameter can be up to 25cm, though the size of this jellyfish can vary depending on where it is found.
Common name: Crystal Jelly
Scientific name: Aequorea spp.
Identifying Features: They have many radial canals with more than one-hundred and fifty sticky tentacles that are laced with toxins that allow it to easily catch its varying prey. It also has gonads that follow along their radial canals. The base colour of these guys is white which is only enhanced by the bio-luminescence that rings around the bottom of their umbrella.
Habitat: The Leptomedusae can typically be found from spring to autumn in the pelagic waters of Vancouver BC’s Pacific Ocean to Central Californias waters.
Predators: Predators of the Crystal jellyfish are typically other vicious jellies such as the Lions Mane Jellyfish and others. Another technical predator of theirs would be humans, as they are used to conduct research in gthe medical field.
Food: For the most part these guys consume other soft bodied organisms like themselves. A few classes that they may eat are hydromedusae, ctenophores, polychaetes, and appendicularians. Chrystal jellyfish have the ability to consume other jellyfish that are twice their size and appear to prefer Comb Jellies over others. They are also known to be cannibalistic so when one keeps them they must ensure there is enough room.
Reproduction: Crystal jellyfish reproduce just like any other possible jellyfish as they can do so both sexually and asexually. They reproduce year-round leading to there being new Young Medusae a minimum of every two days. Their polyps also tend to live in colonies, and can live up to more than 2 years.
Fun Facts: Scientists harvest Crystal Jellyfish because their luminescent aequorin – also known as Fluorescent Green Protein, it is essentially what makes these jellyfish ‘glow’ a greeny blue.They use this to conduct experiments that helps us detect Calcium, neurological, and biological . It is also used in laboratories for clinical experiments on molecular,neurological, and biological research. Their Luminescent aequorin is also being studied so that it may eventually be used for early cancer detection. This glowing protein is also broadly used as a biological highlighter that really helps the speed up and over-all process of finding and studying genes.
Short Plumose Anemone
By Fraser Evans
Common name: Short Plumose Anemone
Scientific name: Metridium senile
Size: Roughly 4 inches
Identifying Features: The Plumose Anemone is usually short from about 2 inches to 4 inches but can get bigger. They’re commonly white or off orange in colour but depending on their living conditions the colours can become bright orange. The tentacles on the anemone are typically transparent but can be off white or orange.
Habitat: Anemones broadly can live in many conditions or habitats. From the tidal zone to up to 100 metres deep you can find these beautiful creatures. Though their preferred locations are exposed sites such as piers, walls, ropes docks or big rocks. Contrary to most sea creatures Plumose Anemones don’t mind brackish water. You can find these critters all over the oceans of the world but especially Alaska to southern California and the other side of North America on the Atlantic coast. Anemones also can be a habitat for other fish such as clown fish with a symbiotic relationship.
Predators: Not many animals attack the Plumose Anemone. In some cases star fishes have been known to eat large anemones. Also nudibranchs commonly eat the Plumose. When anemones are touched they will shrivel up as a defense mechanism.
Food: When small plankton, jellyfish, zooplankton or other small sea critters float by the anemone will reach out with its tentacles and use the nematocyst to poison the prey before proceeding to eat it. The anemones mouth and anus are the same.
Reproduction: Metridium can reproduce either sexually or asexually. Asexually it reproduces by pulling itself into two parts or ripping off pieces of itself and letting these turn into small anemones. Sexually Plumose will reproduce by releasing its sperm or egg into the sea out of its mouth. Then the little fertilized eggs will grow into larvae which metamorphose into baby anemones.
Common Name: Painted Anemone
Scientific Name: Urticina grebelnyi
Urticina grebelnyi can be identified by the pink to white color’s on it’s tentacles, as well as raised bumps, referred to as non-adhesive vesicles, on it’s pedal column. Unlike the similar looking species Urticina crassicornis, that U.grebelnyi is often mistaken for, the column of U. crassicornis is smooth while that of U. gregelnyi has the raised bumps. They vary in color and often have green to light yellow patches covered in red blood-like markings. They have many tentacles that are banded red.
The Painted Anemone lives on the Pacific and north Atlantic coast in shallow and mid-tidal areas and under ledges and crevices. They can be found in small groups as well as large colonies that form carpets on the floor of the ocean.
Almost all anemones are carnivorous and using their tentacles they paralyze and consume any bypassing prey. U.grebelnyi in particular eats shrimp, krill, mussels, and fish.
The Painted Anemone’s natural predators are various species of nudibranches, sea stars, and snails. However it’s not completely defenseless. The tentacles that it uses for catching prey can also be used in self-defense, poisoning it’s enemies in time for it to escape using it’s pedal.
When anemones reach adulthood the males release sperm and the females release eggs into the water. The gametes travel in the current where the sperm fertilize the eggs. The fertilized egg then developes into a zygote, and then into a planula, a free-floating larval form of the anemone. The planula will settle on a rock or other solid surface where it grows into a polyp. The polyp looks much like the adult though it is smaller. With enough nutrition it will then grow into an adult, walking on it’s pedal to avoid predators or move to a preferred location and catching prey with it’s fully developed poison tentacles.
Photos by Michael Adams and David Young
Habitat: Moon jellyfish are found along the west coast of North America all the way from southern Alaska to southern California and as far out into the open ocean as Hawaii. Moon Jellyfish can be found up to 1000m (3280ft) below sea level in waters ranging from -6 to 31 degrees celsius; but often float near the surface, especially in bays and harbours. In the summer and through autumn, moon jelly fish are found in dense aggregations.
Photography by Ali Isles
Illustrations by Moloud Mazaheri
Video by D. Young
Interesting resources for research and photographer credit
Victoria High School
1260 Grant St.
Victoria. BC, Canada