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Jellyfish and Sea Nettles

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has a great jellyfish collection!

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of jellyfish and sea nettles from the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. Theses graceful and lovely creatures aren't so much fun to meet on the beach, where their tentacles can sting you! But, when you see them safely inside an aquarium tank (whether it's the Long Beach Aquarium or elsewhere,) then it's easy to admire their delicate structures. On this page, we'll talk about some of the types of jellyfish you'll see in the collection at the Aquarium of the Pacific, an outstanding facility which maintains a number of lovely jellyfish and sea nettle exhibits.

Jellyfish and Sea Nettles: Fun Facts

Picture: Sea Nettle at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA Can you imagine living without a heart, eyes or a brain? Wow, it's incredible to think that any animal could possibly live without these important parts of the body, isn't it? But, jellyfish live without hearts, brains nor eyes...which is just one of the fun facts about jellyfish you'll learn at the Long Beach Aquarium in Southern California.

Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific is proud of their jellyfish collection. This important, major aquarium has eight different kinds (though not all of them are shown in pictures on this page.) The Long Beach Aquarium even helps out other aquariums that are having difficulty getting their own jellyfish!

What are some other fun facts about jellyfish and sea nettles that you'll discover at the Aquarium of the Pacific?

1.) That jellyfish are a very ancient type of animal. They have survived on Earth for over 650 million years. This means that there were jellyfish on Earth even before there were dinosaurs! And, of course, 650 million years is MUCH longer than the amount of time human beings have lived on the Earth!

2.) That jellyfish don't have bones. This is very bad news for people who want to dress up as a Jellyfish Skeleton for Halloween! There are two ways to classify animals. Vertebrates have backbones, and invertebrates do not. Since jellyfish and sea nettles don't have any bones at all, this means that jellyfish are invertebrates.

3.) That jellyfish come in all sizes, from very small to very large. The Long Beach Aquarium tells us that jellies can be "as small as a pencil's eraser or as long as a basketball court!"

4.) That jellyfish and sea nettles have 3 main body parts. These are: (1) The Bell, which is the part of their bodies which everyone thinks looks like an umbrella. (2) Tentacles, which look like strings...and cause the sting you feel if you encounter a jellyfish while swimming in the ocean. Jellyfish don't have teeth; they don't bite you. But, when their tentacles touch you, it may FEEL like they took a nice, big bite! (3) Oral Arms, which are the parts which help jellyfish and sea nettles eat their food.

ASK QUESTIONS AT THE AQUARIUM! You probably have many questions about jellyfish. The aquarium has tried to think of what they might be...and they put that information on signs by the jellyfish and sea nettle displays. But, if the aquarium didn't write down an answer to your question, you can still find the answer! There are employees and volunteers at the aquarium who know many things about the marine plants and animals; things there wasn't enough room on the displays to write! Simply ask your question, and these experts will probably know the answer!

Types of Jellyfish and Sea Nettles

There are many different types of jellyfish and sea nettles. You won't be able to see all of them at the Aquarium of the Pacific. On this page, we'll talk about several of the types of jellyfish and sea nettles that you WILL see.

Purple-striped Jellyfish

Picture: purple-striped jellyfish at the Aquarium of the Pacific Purple-striped jellyfish are very beautiful. These jellyfish are not purple all over. They're white. The adults have purple-colored stripes on the tops of their bells.

You can see some adult purple-striped jellyfish in the Long Beach Aquarium or other aquariums. But, you may not see the very biggest examples that exist. Why not? Because the biggest ones might not fit into the display tanks!

Picture: Purplestripe jellyfish at the Long Beach Aquarium

Purple-striped jellyfish can grow tentacles so long that they reach 70 feet in length! And, the bell of a purple stripe jellyfish can reach up to 28 inches across.

Another fun fact you'll learn about purple-striped jellyfish when you're at the aquarium is that they have only 8 tentacles. Other types of jellyfish can have many more than that!

Crystal Jellyfish

Picture: Crystal Jellyfish at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA Question: can a jellyfish hide a light bulb inside of its body?

Answer: A crystal jellyfish wouldn't even think of it! That's because a crystal jellyfish doesn't need a lightbulb to shine---it makes its own light!

Crystal Jellyfish each have about 100 light-producing organs, which makes them bioluminescent. These contain a light-emitting protein which gives off a greenish glow at times!

When you visit the aquarium you will want to look for the crystal jellyfish because they are very beautiful and delicate-looking. However, you'll probably see different crystal jellyfish than the ones in the picture to your left. Since crystal jellyfish have a life span less than 6 months, you'll probably be looking at completely different ones by the time you make your visit!

Lion's Mane Jellyfish

Picture: Lion's Mane Jellyfish from the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California Lion's mane jellyfish can grow to be very large! The bell of some lion's mane jellyfish can become as wide as 6 feet across!

Another fun fact about Lion's Mane Jellyfish that you'll learn at the Aquarium of the Pacific is that their tentacle clusters may contain as many as 150 individual tentacles altogether! AND, that these fearsome tentacles may reach 100 feet long!

Of course, you're not likely to see such a large Lion's Mane Jellyfish in an aquarium. They would be too wide to fit into the display tanks! Jellyfish and sea nettle display tanks are usually only small or medium-sized; that way you can see them better! If jellyfish were kept in huge tanks, you might not be able to see them very well...especially since some species have very little color, making them "blend in" with the water.

The picture of a Lion's Mane Jellyfish to your right will show you how different this species of jellyfish looks from some of the other types. The lion-like colors and the "fluffy" look reminded some people of African lions...and that's how the Lion's Mane Jellyfish got its name!

Sea Nettles---enjoy both North Pacific and West Coast Sea Nettles at the Long Beach Aquarium

Picture of sea nettles at the Aquarium of the Pacific

You'll see several varieties of sea nettles at the Aquarium of the Pacific, including both the North Pacific Sea Nettle and the West Coast Sea Nettle.

Can you pet the sea nettles in the aquarium's touch tank? No way! You might be tempted to think that such a pretty creature couldn't possibly hurt people nor sting. However, they certainly do! They have tentacles which you do NOT want to touch...even if you see them washed up on the beach & looking lifeless.

At the Aquarium of the Pacific, you'll learn that the North Pacific Sea Nettle has 40 tentacles, and they can reach up to 10 or 12 feet long. Wow---that's a whole lot of tentacles to avoid!

Another fun fact you'll discover about North Pacific Sea Nettles is that their bells can reach 3 feet (1 meter) across. The sea nettle specimens that you'll see in an aquarium won't be that large. However, they'll be very beautiful and delicate-looking. It's easy to become fascinated and lose track of time when you're enjoying your view of the sea nettle tanks!



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