Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellies
Monterey Bay Aquarium pioneered the captive care and breeding of jellyfish for display and education. They have provided millions of visitiors an opportunity to get up close to these beautiful creatures.
Get an up-close look at the delicate sea nettles in the aquarium's Open Sea exhibit.
Watch as their long tentacles and lacey mouth-arms move smoothly through the water. But don't let these unassuming invertebrates fool you—their graceful trailing parts are covered in stinging cells used for hunting. When their tentacles touch tiny drifting prey, the stinging cells paralyze it and stick tight. The prey is moved to the mouth-arms and then to the mouth, where it's digested.
The black sea nettle is considered a giant jelly; its distinctive purplish bell can reach over three feet (91 cm) in diameter; its lacy, pinkish oral arms can reach nearly 20 feet (6 m) in length and its stinging tentacles 25 feet (7.6 m) or more. It probably lives in deeper, calmer waters but has appeared in large blooms in shallower California coastal waters, most recently in 2010.
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