Jellyfish Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Kristina Washington-Morris

Kristina has taught a variety of elementary classes and has a master's degree in elementary education.

Believe it or not a jellyfish isn't a fish made of jelly! Jellyfish are amazing creatures that have lived on earth for millions of years. This lesson will teach you facts and interesting information about jellyfish.

What is a Jellyfish?

A Lions Mane Jellyfish

Jellyfish are sea creatures found in oceans and seas around the world. Jellyfish are not made of jelly and aren't even fish! They are marine invertebrates. Marine invertebrates are animals without backbones that live in the ocean.

The name jellyfish comes from their jelly-like bodies. Their boneless bodies may remind you of a slimy, deflated balloon under water.

There are over 2,000 types of jellyfish in the world. Jellyfish come in lots of colors and sizes. They can be super tiny, like the eraser of a pencil, or as huge as a small car. The many types of jellyfish come in all colors of the rainbow - some even glow in the dark!

Jellyfish Body Parts

A Jellyfish

Jellyfish have translucent (or almost see-through) bell-shaped bodies. They have a mouth at the bottom of their body and their stomachs are inside. Since they're most are nearly see-through, you can see all the food they eat! Could you imagine having a window to your stomach? You could watch your lunch digest!

Jellyfish have tentacles hanging from their body, which can be poisonous. They will trap other animals in their tentacles to eat. Jellyfish can also sting animals with their tentacles to protect themselves.

Jellyfish are often slow and can't swim quickly to catch food. Instead, they have oral arms to grab food and bring it to their mouth. Oral arms are like tentacle tongues.

Where do Jellyfish Live?

Jellyfish are aquatic creatures, which means they live in water. They live in all seven oceans of the world. Certain species of jellyfish like cold arctic oceans and some like warm tropical oceans. They can live in both deep, dark parts of the ocean and shallow shorelines.

Jellyfish are not great swimmers. They need help from ocean currents or waves to move through the water. Jellyfish are often taken wherever the ocean pushes them, just like a leaf on a windy day.

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