Q:

What do jellyfish eat ?

A:

Quick Answer

Jellyfish primarily eat plankton, which are organisms that lack the strength and size to swim and therefore drift in marine and freshwater currents. Larger species of jellyfish also eat crustaceans, fish and other jellyfish. Jellyfish are carnivorous and primarily feed on animals. Some jellyfish have tissue containing symbiotic algae, which enables them to receive energy through photosynthesis.

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Full Answer

Jellyfish have simple bodies with a mouth in the center and trailing tentacles. They have no bones, brain or heart. Their tentacles are covered by cells that shoot out harpoons that puncture their prey and release a neurotoxin. These dart-like harpoons and stinging venom cause paralysis, which enables the jellyfish to capture their prey and also functions as a defense mechanism.

Despite their name, jellyfish are considered plankton rather than fish. Some jellyfish grow to 7 feet long with 100-foot tentacles, whereas small jellyfish can measure only an inch long. Jellyfish are ancient creatures that have lived in the oceans around the world for at least 650 million years. Most jellyfish are transparent and have pulsating, bell-shaped gelatinous bodies and trailing tentacles. There are thousands of different jellyfish species, most of which are ocean dwelling. While jellyfish can kill small sea creatures, their sting typically causes only temporary pain, fever and muscle cramps in humans.

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Related Questions

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    When is jellyfish season in the Gulf of Mexico?

    A:

    Jellyfish season occurs during the summer months when the nettle, moon and Australian jellyfish invade thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico. The jellyfish are proliferate in an area called the Dead Zone, where polluted water from the Mississippi River pours into the Gulf of Mexico and allows for few things to survive other than jellyfish.

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  • Q:

    What kind of animal is the jellyfish?

    A:

    Jellyfish are invertebrates composed of gelatinous substances and water. The creatures are similar to sea anemones and coral, which all belong to the phylum Cnidaria, as stated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

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    How do jellyfish eat?

    A:

    Jellyfish eat their prey by first paralyzing them by stinging them, and then drawing the prey in through the mouth, which is a hole in the middle of the jellyfish's body, reports National Geographic. When the jellyfish has eaten and digested the prey, the waste is released through this same hole, or "mouth."

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    Do jellyfish have brains?

    A:

    Jellyfish do not have brains, and most barely have nervous systems. They have primitive nerve cells that help them orient themselves in the water and sense light and touch. Jellyfish can be tiny or grow to several feet in diameter.

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