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Jellyfish Habitat Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Farrell

Jen has taught Science in accredited schools in North & South America for thirteen years and has a degree in Sociology (Epidemiology & Aids Research).

Jellyfish have been floating through the seas long before dinosaurs were alive. But do they live in all oceans? This lesson will investigate the different oceanic habitats of two types of jellyfish.

What Are Jellyfish?

What kind of fish makes the best sandwich? A jellyfish!

If you've ever had an encounter with a jellyfish, you know that this is not true. Jellyfish have up to fifteen tentacles, which dangle from each corner of their bell-shaped bodies. There are nearly 5,000 stinging cells called nematocysts (pronounced ne-MAH-tuh-sist) that are filled with venom. The venom is released when touched and the severity of the sting depends on the type of jellyfish.

So in reality, a jellyfish would be a horrible fish for a sandwich! Besides, a jellyfish isn't really a fish. It is an invertebrate, an animal without a backbone. All true fish have a backbone, and are classified as vertebrates.

The tentacles of a jellyfish can extend almost ten feet in length
Jellyfish

Jellyfish Habitats

Jellyfish drift along the ocean currents, living in cold and warm waters around the world. Large storms and the movement of strong tides cause these solitary animals to become swarmed up in the same habitat. These natural forces can push them into deep waters, as well as close to the shorelines.

Their diets are as diverse as the areas they inhabit. Jellyfish prey upon small fish, plankton, crustaceans, and sometimes other jellyfish.

Jellyfish also have the amazing ability to adapt to their environment. Their ability to make changes in order to survive in a given habitat has contributed to their existence on Earth for the past 700 million years. Scientist are discovering that jellyfish have even been thriving in areas where our oceans are becoming more polluted and over fished.

Jellies are like super heroes of the sea because they are able to survive in so many oceanic habitats. Below, we will investigate two common jellyfish species and the habitats they live in.

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