This CSI is a jellyfish. Not really a fish at all, this invertebrate is a relative to corals and sea anemones. Composed of over 95 percent water, the jelly has no head, brain, heart, eyes, ears, or bones. But the jelly is not just a glob of gelatinous goo. It has a net of tentacles armed with poisonous stinging cells.
The waters of the world contain more than 200 different species of jellyfish, some stretching over 100 feet in length. They feed on small drifting animals called zooplankton. Their tentacles trap and paralyze their prey so that they can feast (yes, one of the few things jelly has is a mouth with which to eat).
This particular jellyfish (above) is called a Sea Nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens). While not all jelly’s sting, the Sea Nettle is a sure sting. It grows to more than 3 feet in diameter and 12 to 15 feet long. Like oysters? Well, the Sea Nettle protects oysters by eating the Comb Jelly who us notorious for hoarding and gobbling all the oyster larvae.
Without eyes, the jelly relies on its other senses smell, taste and light perception to steer it from danger and to food. They also have an amazing sense of balance, steered by special sacs along their rims that alert them when they’re too far left and about to tip over.