Monday, September 13, 2010

Moon Jellyfish

This Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) washed ashore at Cocoa Beach. I found it in the early morning light the day after I photographed a wedding in Cocoa Beach. There were many on the beach, but this was the best specimen I could find.

Moon Jellyfish feed by collecting planton, mollusks and medusae with its tentacles, while drifting with the current. Jellyfish don't actually swim. They drift with the current.

Moon Jellyfish do not have lungs, trachea or gills. They breathe through the absorption of oxygen through a membrane. They also do not have circulatory or excretory systems.

Jellyfish have many predators including Ocean Sunfish and Leather Back Turtles. Sea birds also eat jellyfish. Their lifespan in the wild is less than 6 months, but can live in controlled environments such as aquariums for 2 years.
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