Moon jellyfish have radial symmetry, a blue vein running through their body, and transparent outer bells.
They also have a small stinging cell on the tip of each oral arm and a pair of tentacles that can be anywhere from one to five centimeters long.
They feed by moving their prey toward their gastric pouches. Unlike other jellyfish, moon jellyfish do not have parents.
The moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, is a large, omnipresent zooplankton that lives throughout the world’s oceans.
It is distinctive by its translucent bell and clover-like gonads. This jellyfish is a zooplankton that largely inhabits shallow coastal and reef environments.
Although moon jellies are often considered pests by the local fishing industry, their plasticity makes them highly valued by marine biologists.
In addition to its intriguing appearance, the Aurelia moon jellyfish is an excellent model for studying the nervous system of other marine species.
It has many unique characteristics, including a complex nervous system and varying behaviors at various life stages. This makes it an excellent candidate for marine population genomics. This jellyfish is also known for its destructive blooms of jellyfish, which are both environmentally and economically damaging.
Moreover, some scientists suspect their population is rising because of climate change.
Aurelia aurita moon jellyfish live in ocean water temperatures of 6 to 31 degC and prefer temperate seas with consistent currents.
It is also found in waters with salinity as low as six per thousand. This species is especially vulnerable to low dissolved oxygen levels during summer when temperatures and salinity are high.
Aurelia aurita moon jellyfish are asexually and sexually reproducing species. In addition, they lay fertilized eggs on the ma! the manubrium and then release the larvae into the water column.
In recent years, there has been more research into how these moon jellies utilize the water flow patterns in their environment, enabling them to catch prey better.
Sea birds often eat moon jellyfish. However, these creatures usually eat small arthropods and amphipods and so can damage moon jellies.
As such, they should be kept out of reach of birds. They are often found on the surface of a bay.
Aurelia aurita moon jellyfish has many transcription factors, including proteins with a C2H2 zinc finger and ETS.
The expression profiles of many of these genes are highly variable, making them suitable candidates for regulatory roles in Aurelia’s life cycle.
Further research is needed to understand the evolutionary history of these genes.
The moon jellyfish lives in tropical oceans but is common along the Atlantic coasts of North America and Europe.
They tend to inhabit epipelagic areas but can also survive in lower-salinity estuaries. They feed on zooplankton and are not particularly strong swimmers.
Their large area tentacles allow them to capture prey better.
The moon jellyfish’s tentacles contain stinging filaments called nematocysts. These filaments live in the cells along the tentacles.
The moon jelly hunts for food by stunning larger prey and consuming them whole. Because of their proximity to coastlines, moon jellies are sometimes killed by humans.
Aurelia aurita moon jellyfish live for several months and reproduce. They may live longer if kept in captivity. Their lifespans vary, but most are between eight to 12 months.
They grow slowly during colder months and then accelerate growth during the spring. Once they reach sexual maturity, they shrink and release gametes. Eventually, the medusae die.
As with many jellyfish, Aurelia aurita moon jellyfish feed on zooplankton, these tiny organisms include crustaceans, copepods, rotifers, and young polychaetes.
They also consume fish eggs and other small invertebrates.